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These are tough times for liberal arts colleges. Sweet Briar College in Virginia announced Tuesday it would be closing at the end of the academic year, as a result of financial challenges.

"Fewer and fewer students want what they sell,"says Victor Ferrall, the former President of Beloit College and the author of “Liberal Arts at the Brink."

Gone are the days when kids and their parents are willing to pay for languid afternoon classes spent debating philosophy on a leafy quad. Today, says Ferrall, "education is very focused on a good job." 

In a 2014 national survey of college freshmen by UCLA, more students said they chose college to get a better job than to gain a general education.

For more on this story, listen to Marketplace's David Gura interview Sweet Briar College president Dr. James Jones from the Marketplace Morning Report on Thursday, March 5 below:

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Follow Adriene Hill at @adrienehill