In the News: Hampshire Struggles to Stay Afloat

The president of Hampshire College has announced that the school is seeking a partner to help the institution survive in the face of “bruising financial and demographic realities.”

As Greg Toppo reports in Inside Higher Ed, the college is considering whether to enroll a freshman class this coming fall, given the challenges that threaten its continued existence, while it seeks a strategic partner.

In the Fall 2018 issue of Education Next, Stephen Eide wrote about the fiscal crisis now facing many small private colleges and warned of the possibility of closures.

Small mid-tier private schools tend to have modest endowments, and after decades of tuition hikes comparable to those of their elite peers, are now dangerously at risk of pricing themselves out of the market. Their problems will soon be compounded by demographic realities: the college-age population is expected to decline over the coming decades, leading to even tighter competition for students. The storm has yet to break in full, but a recent spate of closings and mergers may signal greater turbulence to come for the private nonprofit sector, whose 1,700 institutions enroll about 30 percent of all students attending four-year colleges.

Please read “Private Colleges in Peril,” by Stephen Eide in the Fall 2018 issue of EdNext.

— Education Next

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