(from the Chronicle of Higher Education) Earlier this week, Hampshire College in Massachusetts announced it was seeking a partner to help sustain itself financially. College officials stress that Hampshire is not closing, but a letter from the president said the institution may choose not to enroll a freshman class this fall. This is a rare move toward transparency in an industry where publicly acknowledging challenges is usually avoided strenuously. Admitting to the realities of financial pressures, many have argued, could scare off current and prospective faculty members and students. But not speaking openly about the need for a new partner could limit the search for the kind of organization that would appreciate the college’s mission and history, according to college officials. The college still has a positive operating balance, but the number of students of traditional college age across the country, and particularly in New England, is declining and the cost of recruiting them through financial aid or tuition discounts, is increasing. A partner college would allow Hampshire to continue offering its distinctive model of higher education without sacrificing quality or significantly downsizing.
More from the Chronicle of Higher Education
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