Hampshire College to accept a spring 2020 class

Enrollment projection has risen to 700-750 students

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Will Mallas, Assistant News Editor

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Hampshire College will accept a spring 2020 class of new and transfer students following the acceptance of a limited class this past fall.

According to a Sept. 24 press release, the Hampshire Board of Trustees voted to restore spring admissions on Sept. 20. The Board had worked with the College’s leadership team over the past summer to fill positions in the admissions office and launched applications for both spring and fall 2020 admission.

“Under the guidance of Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid [Kevin] Kelly, Hampshire has been restoring admissions and taking steps to recruit students as it aims to grow back to its full enrollment capacity within five years,” the press release reads.

The College announced in February it would accept a “limited freshman class” of students who had enrolled through early admission or had planned on attending after a gap year. Hampshire’s decision followed the College’s announcement it would seek a “strategic partner” due to financial insecurities. 12 students ended up attending Hampshire for the fall 2019 semester.

Despite the small fall 2019 class, Hampshire announced in August it raised its projection of total enrollment to 700-750 students for the semester. Hampshire hopes to continue enrolling more students.

“The College is projecting its student enrollment will likely remain 700-800 for the next three years, a sustainable size compared with many small colleges nationwide,” according to the press release. “In four years, its goal is to have four full classes again and enrollment of over 1,000.”

Domestic first-year and transfer students must apply by Nov. 15 for admission to the spring 2020 semester. International students have a deadline of Nov. 1. Students who wish to apply can do so through the Common App.

“One, our community has come forward with historic levels of support,” Hampshire President Ed Wingenbach said in the press release, describing developments he hopes will keep Hampshire an independent college. “Two, we’ve shown we have the will to launch an innovative new plan for Hampshire’s student experience and to commit to managing expenses, operating within our revenues and exploring additional revenue sources.”

In an April 11 letter, former interim-President Ken Rosenthal announced his plan to keep Hampshire independent through raising “over the next five or six years, perhaps close to $100 million.”

“It’s not unprecedented, and we’ll have to move fast and work hard, but I’m optimistic,” Rosenthal wrote.

Hampshire College faces its next challenge in November when the New England Commission of Higher Education will determine if Hampshire’s accreditation will be withdrawn or put on probation.

Wingenbach plans to create a new education model, according to the press release, while still maintaining “what the College is renowned for,” which includes retaining student-created study programs. Hampshire will present this plan to the NECHE in November before a decision on the College’s accreditation is made.

“Hampshire is confident it will demonstrate it continues to adhere to its accreditation standards,” the press release said.

Will Mallas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @willmallas.