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Laureate Education’s National Hispanic U. Stops New Enrollments

National Hispanic University has stopped enrolling new students amid serious financial problems, four years after it was purchased by the for-profit higher-education company Laureate Education Inc., the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Laureate is a private company that operates a network of about 70 colleges in 30 countries. It bought the university, which enrolls about 600 students, in 2010 for an undisclosed amount. At the time the company planned to add 8,000 students online and start degree programs in Mexican-American studies and in Spanish.

But the university’s president, Gladys Ato, told the newspaper that the institution had never met that goal and had been far from reaching it. She said the university was in a “very difficult financial situation” and said the institution would focus its efforts on supporting currently enrolled students.

The admissions moratorium surprised students and faculty members, and raised fears that the university might close or move entirely online. Ms. Ato said she expected the company and the university’s board to announce their plans in the coming months.

The company said it had invested millions in the institution. A Laureate spokeswoman declined to comment on students’ fears that National Hispanic’s accreditation would be transferred to an Internet-only version of the university.

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