A university merger has left many students at Mount Ida College with an uncertain future.

With UMass Amherst acquiring the Newton campus, a local private school is stepping in.

That merger leaves Mount Ida students with a big decision to make, and those with good academic standing will be offered admission to UMass Dartmouth.

UMass Dartmouth is located roughly 60 miles south of Mount Ida’s campus in Newton.

In comparison, it is a public school with roughly five times the number of undergraduate students.

So what happens to those students who may have wanted that small, private school experience? A spokesperson at Elms College in Chicopee answers that question.

“We welcome all of our Mount Ida students that are looking for a similar experience in terms of campus, student life, athletics, being able to be involved on campus,” said Xiomara Delobato, the Associate Director of Admission at Elms College. Elms College is offering those students admission. Elms has roughly 1,200 undergraduate students, whereas Mount Ida has about 1,400. “The class sizes are so small. It’s almost like you’re in high school but you get the college experience, too," said Kyle Beaudette, a freshman at Elms College. Elms College boasts a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, similar to Mount Ida’s 13:1.

“The best thing about living around here is the people because everyone is here helping neighbor to neighbor," said Rachel Connell, a junior at Elms. A spokesperson for UMass Amherst told Western Mass News Mount Ida students can apply to UMass Amherst, or any other school in the UMass system.

Mount Ida’s physical campus will become an extension of the flagship university for career preparation and opportunities.

Tonight at 6 p.m. Western Mass News takes a closer look at what that means, and what the UMass system will actually use the Mount Ida campus for.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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