The demise of a small liberal arts college on Long Island may not be final.
Dowling College was set to close Friday after 48 years as an independent institution. The campus bookstore was having a fire sale Thursday, and people were cleaning out offices and even pulling plaques off the walls.
But sources tell NBC 4 New York that the school's board of trustees is in talks with a benefactor who could save the school. Dowling would only say on its website that Friday's planned closing has been put off until at least next week.
"I'd be very excited if they were able to save the school," said student Alex Lewis. "That would help out a lot. I wouldn't have to be running around to transfer."
For now, at least, students continue the frantic effort to find a new place to earn their degrees.
"It's still very confusing and everyone seems to be scrambling to find something to do," said graduate student Anthony Ketterer.
Ketterer was among the dozens who attended a counseling session at Molloy College, part of an effort to help Dowling's student body recover from Tuesday's news that the college was closing for good.
"We're just equipping them with information that will help them wherever they decide to go to complete their degrees," said Linda Albanese of Molloy College. "We're trying to ease their concerns."
But doing that won't be easy. Mike Guzzardi has lost his basketball scholarship: "I had a full ride at Dowling and it's not here now."
And parent Denise Ketterer wonders what will happen to the tuition money she had already paid for next semester.
"My money is still with the school, and we have no answers," she said. "Nobody's saying anything."