CALIFORNIA — Mills College in Oakland, CA announced on Wednesday, March 17 that it will not be accepting students after fall 2021 and end its role as an academic institution since its founding in 1852.

Elizabeth L. Hillman, President of Mills College, said in news release that the school “will no longer enroll new first-year undergraduate students” and “will focus our resources on building degree pathways for our continuing students, and supporting the new first-year undergraduate, transfer, and graduate students” joining in fall 2021.

President Hillman said this decision was made due to “the economic burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic, structural changes across higher education, and Mills’ declining enrollment and budget deficits.”

While Mills College will no longer serve as an academic institution, it still plans on continuing to “foster women’s leadership and student success, advance gender and racial equity, and cultivate innovative pedagogy, research, and critical thinking by creating a Mills Institute housed” on its campus, noted its website.

Founded in 1852, Mills College was the “first women’s college in the West” and was founded to “ensure that young women in California could receive an education,” stated its website.

Alumni include Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents Oakland, where Mills College is located.

Mills College is expected to give final degrees in 2023.