As Hampshire seeks merger, Mass. creates financial stress test for private colleges

January 31, 2019

A week before students returned Hampshire College for the spring semester, President Miriam Nelson announced that the liberal arts college, founded in 1970, is looking for a partner to merge. She said it might not even admit a class this fall.

Like many small colleges in Massachusetts, Hampshire has faced declining enrollment and mounting debt. And the school is not alone. Massachusetts has seen 15 college closures and mergers, both nonprofit and for-profit, in the past five years.

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