Sweet Briar College — a small, private school for women near the Blue Ridge Mountains — will shut down this summer because of financial issues.

The college announced the Aug. 25 closure Tuesday. The college says its board of directors approved the closure Saturday.

Sweet Briar attributed the decision to what it calls "insurmountable financial challenges."

President James F. Jones says in a statement that he, the board and several alumnae have searched for solutions but concluded they couldn't change two realities. First, Jones says, is a decline in the number of students who choose to attend small, rural, private liberal arts colleges. Second, he says, is the unsustainability of the college's tuition discount rate that it used to attract students.