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Concordia University students walk out to show frustration over decision to close

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — Students at Concordia University walked out of class Thursday morning to show their frustration with the university’s decision to close this spring.

The university announced Monday that the school would close after the Spring 2020 academic semester.

Thursday morning, students met on the “green” and marched through campus to the president’s house. They chanted, waved signs, and took turns on the megaphone to share their frustrations – many saying they feel like they were lied to about the university’s financial stability.

Concordia University was Oregon’s largest private, nonprofit university. It had been in northeast Portland for more than a century.

Despite that, the university says it’s been facing years of financial challenges, and at this point, has no other choice.

More than 6,000 students attend the university either in person or online. Now, many students say they’re scrambling to figure out their future plans.

“I’ve looked into schools. The nursing staff has been helped since we just applied,” said Cittli Zepeda, sophomore at Concordia. “Money is a big factor as it is for everyone else so I’m going to see which schools help and which is the best fit. It really sucks, but we just have to get through it at the end of the day.”

Some schools are jumping in to help.

George Fox University announced it will offer a $5,000 scholarship to undergraduate Concordia students who want to transfer.

Portland State University also says transfer students are welcome and its admissions office is available to help with the transition.

Western Oregon University announced that any Concordia students who applied would be admitted automatically and get $1,000 toward their undergraduate tuition.

Linfield College has agreed to waive all application fees for online and at the McMinnville campus. Also, any student who was enrolled at Concordia during the 2019-20 academic year or committed to enroll in the 2020-21 academic year is also guaranteed a minimum financial aid award of $16,500 if they enroll full-time at Linfield’s McMinnville campus.

In a Facebook post late Thursday morning, Concordia University wrote “We hear you. Our hearts are heavy knowing how this week’s announcement continues to impact the lives of CU students, families, faculty, and staff.”

The university also said that it is communicating daily with students in emails and on-campus listening sessions, and stated that next week it will hold a series of transfer fairs.

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