In the Western New York community over the past two or three decades, we have seen all sorts of consolidations and closings. There are fewer churches, elementary and high schools, libraries, supermarket chains. There was a time when there was a neighborhood bar on practically every corner of the City of Buffalo, but even that institution is diminished.
There are still about 16 institutions of higher education in Western New York. But except for the University at Buffalo, most are going through some stage of financial struggle as the education pipeline of feeder schools is narrowing. A smaller population means fewer candidates for college admission, and most institutions here depend on Western New York high schools to fill their college seats. Business First reports that there were 16,103 public high school graduates in Western New York in 2008, but 14,653 in 2014, a drop of nine percent. The 2010 Census in Western New York indicated 18 percent fewer one year-olds than 13 year-olds, so the diminishing group of future WNY college students will continue for many years. Continue reading