As part of a bold and strategic move, one university in Michigan is making drastic cuts to not only how students learn, but also how they play.

Concordia University in  Ann Arbor, a private, Lutheran-based school, is set to undergo significant changes after the next school year, transitioning many of its academic programs to an online-only format.

The change was announced last week, and the decision, aimed at cutting costs, represents a substantial shift in how education is delivered at the university. It comes with mixed emotions for many in the campus community.  The university validated the move stating financial struggles at CUAA and carrying a $9 million financial deficit in the last fiscal year.

Currently, the university, which has a total enrollment of around 1,351 students, offers 53 on-campus academic programs. For the 2025-26 school year, the university will only offer 7 programs on campus. According to reports, current students will be able to take most of their classes online through Concordia University Wisconsin or opt to transfer to the Wisconsin campus after next year.

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Adding to the impact, Concordia University Ann Arbor has also decided to cut its athletics programs, another measure aimed at reducing costs. The decision, which will make the university the only NAIA member school in Michigan without athletics, is particularly painful for student-athletes and fans who see sports as a vital part of the university experience.

"After the 2024-25 academic year, all intercollegiate athletic programs on the Ann Arbor campus will be discontinued. Initially, our leadership team hoped to preserve as many athletic programs as possible beyond the 2024-25 academic year. However, upon further analysis of our financial model, it became evident that continuing these programs in Ann Arbor beyond the upcoming year is not feasible", Concordia President Erik Ankerberg said in a statement.

Currently, CUAA offers 28 varsity-level sports on their campus from baseball, track, golf, and co-ed cheer. All sports will remain in place through May 2025.

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