By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief

LEBANON, N.H. (CBS) – Lebanon College has canceled its fall semester citing financial issues.

Enrollment is roughly half of what was hoped for.

“Over the last couple of years it’s been a slow and steady decline in enrollment,” said Lebanon College President Dr. Ronald E. Biron. “And we are just unable to sustain operations.”

Biron said he’s not sure why there’s been a drastic decrease in students and says this is the first step toward the school likely shutting down entirely.

“Unless there’s an angel out there that wants to come through before the end of the week, I think this is the track that we’re taking,” said Biron.

The school says all 53 full-time students will be reimbursed for all tuition they have already paid. Checks are going out this week.

City leaders say they knew the college was struggling financially, but were very surprised by this sudden turn of events.

“It really is a sad day for Lebanon,” said Paul Boucher, CEO of the local Chamber of Commerce.

The two-building campus is in the center of downtown.

Businesses like Village Pizza enjoyed the foot traffic from students and school staff.

“It’s sad to see it go out,” said Dennis Merrihew who works at the restaurant.

The school says the purchase of a second building, which was meant to spur expansion, is part of the reason Lebanon College is over $2 million in debt.



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