University of Santa Leo, a liberal arts institution in Florida, will merge with the University of Marymount California, a liberal arts institution on the west coast.

The two Roman Catholic universities, more than 2,500 miles away, sealed. The treatment on Thursday after seven months of negotiations. Leaders in both institutions expect to complete the transaction in January 2023, according to Brian Marcotte, president of Marymount California. Santa Leo will seek the approval of the acquisition of the Southern Association of Schools and Schools of the Commission, its accreditor, as of September 1.

Marymount California has looked for a buyer for a while. The university began looking for a partner institution two years ago after its leaders expressed their concern about the changing and competitive landscape of higher education. The registration on Marymount's degree has steadily declined as it reached its peak at 1,179 students during the 2014-15 academic year, showed data from the National Center for Education Statistics. During the academic year 2019-20, the University registered 622 university students.

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