MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant will close in May after providing education opportunities in southeast Iowa since 1842, school officials said Tuesday.

The school’s trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to close the private college after the current academic year, according to a news release.

The nearly 850 students will be able to finish their degree programs through agreements with other colleges, including William Penn University, Upper Iowa University, University of Dubuque and Culver-Stockton College.

The trustees said increased operating costs, enrollment trends and a sharp drop in philanthropic giving contributed to the decision to close. They also cited Gov. Kim Reynolds’ denial of a request for $12 million in federal COVID funds.

Reynolds said in a statement Tuesday that an independent accounting firm found Iowa Wesleyan had a $26.1 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, using the campus as collateral, that could be recalled in full in November. She said the firm determined that providing one-time federal funding would not solve the university’s systemic financial issues.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that Iowa Wesleyan — and many of the region’s smaller private four-year schools — have been struggling to survive for years.

The closing comes after an “intensive analysis of Iowa Wesleyan’s financial operations and considerable exploration of all feasible strategic alternatives,” the trustees said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will take ownership of the campus when the university closes on May 31.