Antioch University's board of trustees meets at a Washington D.C., hotel today to find a way out of the worst financial crisis to befall the liberal arts college in its 126 years.

University officials announced last month that the school had no money and could not meet its payroll. Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the university's other branches around the country have stayed open, operating with faculties and staffs that have agreed to remain on the job until the university can pay them.

"There is nothing new about what's happening now, vice president of finance Dubley Woodall said alst month. "Everyone has known for years that we were having financial problems. What's bringing attention to us now is the drama - the drama of not meeting the payroll.

Antioch College in Yellow Springs has suffered a decline in enrollment since the early 1970s. Woodall said a dwindling student body and inflation were the major causes for the school's plight.

The 5,00-student university has headquaters in New York City, although its largest campus is in Yellow Springs. The university has other branches in Washington, D.C. , Baltimore. Philadelphia, San Francisco and Keene, N.H.

As recently as 1975, however, the school operated 26 centers thoughout the country, including one in Barrow, Alaska.

Antioch College's enrollment has declined from a 1972-73 total of 2,470 students to 1,100 this past academic year. The university population as a whole, however, has increased by roughly 4,000 students during the same period. Most branch operations.

Even if the board agrees on a reorganization plan by the time it adjourns Sunday, the school still faces financial problems until classes resume next September.

In 1973 an analyst from the University of California at Berkeley concluded that the school's financial system was outdated an inefficient and had to be replaced if Antioch was to survive. It is unclear what steps were taken release of the report, and what effect they may have had.

Antioch College weathered a 42-day student strike in 1973, and the school has been closed repeatedly since by student, faculty and staff strikes.

In 1975 Antioch President James P. Dixon was fired for financial mismanagement and William M. Birenbaum, president of Staten Island Community College, replaced him.