At what point do the leaders at Hampshire decide this just isn’t worth it? reports:

Hampshire College announces incoming class of 15 students

Hampshire College has always had relatively small class sizes, but never anything like this.

The financially struggling Amherst liberal arts school announced Wednesday that its incoming freshman class will be just 15 students, as it continues to look for a sustainable path forward. The number of fall 2019 enrollees amounts to a nearly 94 percent decrease from the college’s 2018 class of 290 students.

“We’re grateful for their trust, and we look forward to welcoming them at Orientation in the fall,” Ken Rosenthal, the interim president of Hampshire College, wrote in a letter to the school’s community.

Rosenthal said the college is projected to enroll a total of 600 students next year, down from 1,175 this academic year.

Hampshire College’s former president, Miriam Nelson, resigned last month amid discord over its financial restructuring.

In January, the 49-year-old Western Massachusetts school — known for its unconventional, student-led curriculum — abruptly announced that it was struggling to address the larger trend of declining college enrollment and was seeking to merge with another institution. A number of similarly-sized colleges, particularly in New England, have been forced to close or merge with larger schools in recent years due to decreasing enrollment, which experts say will only worsen over the next decade.

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