Long Island's Dowling College to close

After 48 years Dowling College in Oakdale, Long Island, will close its doors this Friday, leaving many students in limbo. Since 8 a.m. Wednesday, students have been standing on a long line for hours waiting to get their transcripts. After 6 p.m., they will have to retrieve their academic documents from the New York State Department of Education.

Jennifer Bloodnick graduated from Dowling in 2008 with an undergrad in special education. She came back for her master's degree expecting to finish up this month, but she is 3 credits shy. Bloodnick asked her professor for an extension on her thesis and was granted one. The problem now no one can grade her paper.

The news broke Tuesday through an email sent to the students by the president of the institution, Albert Inserra. The college is more than $54 million in debt. It had struggled for years with financial challenges. One of the problems is low enrollment. Dowling had been trying to find a suitable academic partner.

We reached out to Inserra for comment, but were told he wasn't available. He released a statement: "As painful as this announcement is we want the student body faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open, unfortunately despite months of lengthy negotiations we were unable to form such an affiliation and our only option is to cease operations."

As for the students, Molloy College in Rockville Centre has set up a transition team to help Dowling students. Thursday and Friday, the staff there will advise and help the students make decisions on how to complete their degrees.