An university that was established during the same year as American Civil War ended will soon shut down later this month. Lincoln College admins have put the blame on a ransomware attack, which they say hindered admissions and fundraising activities during a period when the school was already struggling.
Lincoln, opened in 1865, plans to close on May 13. Based in Illinois, the college has suffered from financial troubles in recent years, including a shrinking endowment and dropping enrollment rates due to Covid-19. But a cyberattack by a ransomware gang during last year delivered the finishing blow to the school
The gang’s attack encrypted important data, making it difficult for administrators to manage their “recruitment, retention and fund-raising campaigns,” administrators wrote in a statement recently published to the school’s website.
Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of Fall 2022 enrollment projections. All systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable,” the admins wrote.
The university’s students have been engaged in activism and fundraising activities in an effort to save the school. A GoFundMe was recently launched, with the hopes of raising $20 million. However, only garnered 19 donations, totaling $1,252.