Updates for Students, Parents, and Families

Campus sunset over the mountain

Updated June 20, 2019

Questions and answers will be updated as we receive information. If we don't have your current email address or you unsubscribed from Hampshire emails, contact family@hampshire.edu and we'll add you to the list.

On-Campus Support for Students

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Hampshire NECHE Accreditation


Student Life



International Students

Hampshire NECHE Accreditation

What does it mean when an institution is issued a public Notation?

A Notation means that the Commission has determined it should alert the public that an institution is in danger of being found to not meet one or more of its Standards for Accreditation. In Hampshire’s case, NECHE’s concerns have to do with two standards: Organization and Governance and Institutional Resources. We will submit a report to the Commission on November 1, and they will vote whether we remain in compliance.

How is Hampshire making sure it retains accreditation by meeting the concerns expressed in the Notation?

We feel confident that we can respond successfully to the Commission’s expectations for compliance and retain Hampshire’s accredited status. Here is how we are addressing NECHE’s concerns:

Standard on Organization and Governance

  • A presidential search committee convened by the Board of Trustees is engaged in an expedited search to identify Hampshire’s next president. The applicant pool is promising and we hope to name a new president before the end of the summer. In the meantime, Interim President Ken Rosenthal will stay until the new leadership is in place.
  • For July 1 we expect to have five new Board members, bringing the total number of trustees to 23 (the Bylaws require a minimum of 15 and allow for a maximum of 31 trustees).
  • The Board has a robust orientation program for new trustees and we have recently strengthened the information we provide around trustee expectations and responsibilities.

Standard on Institutional Resources

  • Hampshire’s highest priority is to ensure we uphold our commitment to our current students. The divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Life have reconfigured staffing and programming to make sure that this is the case. The support of our partners in the Five Colleges is essential to our success, as it has been for 50+ years. Hampshire is committed to operating successfully as a smaller college while we restructure and rebuild for a sustainable future.
  • Hampshire’s fundraising has been proceeding at a record pace, with over $7 million in gifts and pledges in just three months. We are also well ahead of our fundraising goal for June 30.
  • We have aggressive fundraising targets for the next five years – starting with a goal of $20 million by June 30, 2020 – and we have equally aggressive plans to meet them. A campaign committee chaired by alums Ken Burns and Pasha Thornton is already hard at work.
  • We are developing a plan for relaunching our admissions office to begin admitting students for fall 2020.

What if Hampshire is put on probation in November?

Probation is a public status signifying that NECHE has found that an institution has failed to meet one or more Standards for Accreditation, but also believes that the problems may be resolvable. Hampshire is doing everything possible to address the concerns expressed in the Commission’s Notation and feels confident about doing so in advance of the November vote. But, if the College were to be placed on probation, it is important to know that an institution remains accredited and federal financial aid is not affected while the College works to remedy the Commission’s concerns.

What contingency plans do you have for a worst-case scenario?

If NECHE determines that an institution’s conditions are not improving or are deteriorating, then accreditation could be withdrawn. We do not expect that Hampshire will be put on probation or lose accreditation, but we have been developing contingency plans to make sure that, even in the worst case, our students’ education will continue toward a degree.

To this end, we have been working on a “teach-out” plan in consultation with NECHE and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. A teach-out plan is a written agreement between institutions that provides a reasonable opportunity for affected students to complete their program of study and earn their degree at another institution should that be necessary. In Hampshire’s case, this means that we will have plans to graduate our current Division III students with a Hampshire degree, and facilitate transfer agreements with other nearby institutions for our Division I and II students.

NECHE’s focus is on quality and accountability, and the protection of students’ interests. Even in cases when the Commission withdraws accreditation, it appears their practice is to make the effective date some months later, to allow an institution sufficient time to ensure that students are able to graduate from an accredited institution.


Will faculty who are taking leaves be available to advise or sit on committees?

Many of the faculty who will be on leave next semester have indicated that they will be available for academic advising and we are working with them on a plan to ensure this support. Furthermore, some faculty will be teaching courses at the other colleges within the Five College consortium, so be sure to look at the Five College course offerings for more information. While we will be smaller as a community, we anticipate a robust academic program in the fall.

Do Hampshire students have any kind of priority in the Five College course system?

The other four colleges have worked with us to ensure that Hampshire students will have the same access to Five College courses as in past years. Each student will be able to take up to three courses per semester at any of the other colleges.

When will faculty begin to review Division II and III committee requests?

We will alert students of their assigned committees the week of May 27 via their Hampshire email address. Committees will also be viewable in their Division II/III draft contracts.

When will course schedules be available?

The automatic waitlist notification will start to offer seats to students on May 13, so be sure to check your email several times every day beginning the 13th onward. Once offered a space you will have 48 hours to add yourself to the roster. If you have any questions, please contact Central Records.

Will PVTA bus service be affected?

PVTA bus services will continue to be provided among the Five Colleges.

Can I still get help securing a job or internship?

The Career Options Resource Center will continue to support Hampshire students in finding jobs and internships. We will work closely with our alum network to connect students with professional mentors and opportunities.

Will there continue to be off-campus or study-abroad opportunities?

Hampshire acknowledges and understands the vital importance of off-campus study for students' academic programs, and therefore is committed to supporting students on exchange and field study for academic year 2019-2020. Given the financial uncertainty of the next academic year, availability of specific exchange programs is still being determined. Program availability and placements on exchange for spring 2020 may be limited. The deadline for most spring 2020 exchange programs is October 11. Students should consult with the Global Education Office (GEO) and their committee to discuss their best options. As always, students are advised to plan at least one year in advance for their intended time away. GEO is running short-term field courses for summer 2019; however short-term field courses for January and summer 2020 are still under consideration. See deadlines, application, and program information.

What if I am on medical leave?

Each student's situation, as is the College's standard process, will be reviewed individually. For more information please contact John Slepian, Dean for Academic Support, at jsIA@hampshire.edu.

Will the James Baldwin Scholarship program continue?

Yes. We are pausing on accepting new students into the James Baldwin Scholars program for fall 2019, but all students currently enrolled will still receive the same services and support they do now. For questions or more information please contact Karina Fernández 03F, director of the James Baldwin Scholars program, at 413.559.5301 or kafCS@hampshire.edu.

Will there be changes to some of the specialized academic programs?

Our innovative interdisciplinary programs, such as the Culture Brain and Development Program, Ethics and the Common Good Program, Community Partnerships and Social Change, Childhood Youth and Learning, and others will continue to be available to students.

Will we still have student grants for research?

Yes. Student grants come from endowed funds that generate interest, which we use for the grant funding. Those grants will remain.

Will all current students graduate with a Hampshire degree or only those graduating in 2020?

Our goal is for all current and accepted students to graduate with a Hampshire degree.

Should I transfer? What do I need to know?

This is a personal decision for every student and their families. While Hampshire is committed to supporting your educational goals, we understand some students may consider transferring. As you make this decision, please communicate with your advisor and a dean in CASA, who can guide you in accessing the resources to inform your decision.

Transferring classes to other institutions is generally seamless. The Central Records Office is here to help if other institutions have questions about your transcript. Students and parents should first refer to this webpage to find information on Hampshire transcripts, in particular the "transcript explanation and key" that accompanies all the transcripts we send out. This key includes a summary of our academic program and our credit recommendation.

Student Life

How will housing work next year?

The smaller student population means we will consolidate student housing in the coming year to create strong communities. New students entering in the fall will be able to complete a housing preference survey so that the Housing Operations Office can best meet their needs and place them in community housing settings where they will thrive. We have offered all students spaces in the mods (apartment style living), Greenwich, Enfield and Prescott, as well as in Merrill House, a traditional residence hall. We will be closing Dakin House residence hall. We are also increasing the RA-to-student ratio, allowing for more peer leaders in each of the residential communities. See the March 29 Housing and Dining letter for more information. You can also contact the Housing Operations Office (HOO) with any questions.

What will food options look like next year?

As usual, there will be three meals a day offered to students on weekdays and two meals (brunch and dinner), on weekends. We will be shifting the location of dining services to the Bridge Café, Kern Café, and the HampStore. We'll expand the food service capacity of these three locations to better serve students. Next year we’ll continue the use of the Café Card for all residents and keep the current $400 per semester card funding. No student will be required to be on a meal plan. See the March 29 Housing and Dining letter for more information.

Will there be an orientation in the fall?

There will be an orientation program for the incoming 19F class. Orientation is vital to integrating students into college life and our community. Our Orientation program is currently being developed cooperatively by our teams in New Student Experience, Dean of Students, and the Center for Academic Support and Advising. Orientation programming will include academic, social, community norms, Title IX, and community building.

How will the smaller student population affect OPRA?

While budget cuts and staffing reductions will cause challenges for Outdoor Programs, Recreation, and Athletics (OPRA), we are working hard to maintain as many offerings as possible. In addition to budget cuts and staffing reductions, athletic teams are also facing the challenge of a very small incoming class. This eliminates the opportunity to recruit new athletes from the first year class. Due to this, we anticipate some teams will not be able to meet the necessary roster numbers required to compete in our varsity athletic conference. In those cases, we will look for other opportunities for these athletes forming smaller teams to continue their involvement in recreational programs on campus or in the surrounding community with our support. We are still trying to forecast our athletic numbers for the fall and therefore have not made final decisions regarding which varsity teams will or will not be active.

As for other OPRA programming, we are planning to continue to facilitate a wide variety of programming with a more limited scheduled. Due to staffing reductions, we will have to reduce program offerings, but we are working hard to avoid eliminating programs if at all possible. Facilities such as our equipment room, fitness center, bike shop, and climbing wall will remain in operation next year. In addition, we will continue to offer drop-in and semester long classes including yoga, spinning, various martial arts classes, introduction to tennis, kickboxing, and more.

Clubs that OPRA supports, including the Sports-Coop and Climbers Coalition, may also be impacted due to reduced student numbers as they rely heavily on the leadership of students to operate. However, due to the popularity of these clubs, we anticipate they will both continue while possibly seeing reduced participation.

Will students be able to join clubs?

Yes. There will still be student organizations on campus, overseen by Campus Leadership and Activities (CLA). We will continue to train students to be club leaders, as we have in the past. The Student Life Division will continue to be staffed to support student clubs and events. In addition, as always, Hampshire students have access to Five Colleges clubs and events.

What about spiritual life?

We plan to sustain spiritual life staff and services including the Jewish Student Union and the Muslim Student Association.


Will the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) and Central Records be open over the summer for assistance and questions?

CASA and Central Records staff will be available throughout the summer to meet with and consult with students. If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Central Records or 413.559.5421.

What Health and Counseling Services will be available? Will students be able to get the same level of medical care and counseling?

We’ve specifically focused on retaining staff with the clinical experience and range of expertise necessary to continue providing high-quality health care on campus. Health services will have two full-time registered nurses/nurse practitioners, and state-mandated public health immunization compliance and emergency preparedness will continue to be supported. Counseling services staff will include two psychologists and one psychiatric social worker. We will not reduce hours of operation nor on-call after-hours services. As is currently the case, the medical clinic at the University of Massachusetts will continue to be a resource for Hampshire students on evenings and weekends. We will also maintain our contract with Protocol, a licensed mental health crisis and hotline service available 24/7 to students and families, and to provide guidance to on-call residential life staff members if needed.

It's been our practice that when it meets a student's needs, our staff will make a referral to a provider outside of Hampshire College. The Health Services team has a list of providers off campus whom we know and who have served Hampshire students regularly. Some students have preferred to find an outside provider on their own. In both cases, our medical and counseling staffs give students the assistance and support they need to find outside providers.

Will wellness programs continue to be available?

The division of student life remains committed to offering a variety of wellness promotion services and programs. This includes keeping the wellness center open and in operation next year. While the staffing model will change due to reductions, professional staff will be designated to supervise and lead wellness promotion efforts. This includes programs and services continuing at a level we feel confident will meet the needs of a smaller student population. Furthermore, the wellness center will continue to employ student wellness peer mentors.

What about leadership in the Center For Feminisms/Queer Community Alliance (CFF/QCA)?

The director will continue to oversee both centers, providing programs and services for our LGBTQ+ community. The director will also take on additional responsibilities in the area of survivor support services and violence prevention education and outreach.

What is the status of Title IX and Survivor Support Services?

Violence prevention education and direct supports to students will not be compromised. The Title IX coordinator will continue to oversee Title IX activities, with the deputy Title IX coordinator for student conduct and the deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics both taking on broader roles serving the entire student body. We will also launch an information campaign to make sure that students are aware of the many resources on campus, within the Five College Consortium, and throughout the Pioneer Valley.

What about the Student Rights and Responsibilities office?

The director of student rights and responsibilities will continue to support and educate students, with regard to our Norms of Community Living, policies, and procedures, in support of students’ well-being.


Will tuition and room/board costs be the same next year?

Yes. Regarding room and board, please refer to our latest announcement on Housing and Dining Services.

When is the deadline for payment for the fall 2019 semester?

Fall 2019 semester charges will be billed the first week of July and payment in full will be due on August 1.

There are three ways to make your payment:

  1. Log into TheHub and select, "Account Statement/Make a Payment," or https://ebilling.hampshire.edu/ and select, "Make One-Time Payment Now."
  2. Send a check or money order payable to Trustees of Hampshire College to: Hampshire College, Student Accounts, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002.
  3. Pay in person at the Student Accounts office located on the 2nd floor of the R.W. Kern Center. Please note your student id number on your payment. 

Questions regarding your statement can be directed to Student Accounts at 413.559.6982 or studentaccounts@hampshire.edu. Please have your student id/account number available, as we cannot release any specific information about your account without it. If you have a question about a fine or course fee, please contact the department responsible for the fine or fee directly.

What's the status of financial aid next year?

There are no plans to change the current financial aid resources for returning students. Read the letter sent to students on April 30, 2019: Our Commitment to Financial Aid in 2019-2020.

Students can already apply for aid for 2019-2020 using the FAFSA and CSS Profile. They should check TheHub for a list of documents specific to their situation.

The due date was May 1, 2019. Students can expect their financial aid package notification for school year 2019 - 2020 by the June 15 deadline if the financial aid application and supporting documents are in order. Our standards for deciding on the actual amount of the award will not change and will be based on the student’s CSS Profile (if required) and FAFSA. Therefore, if a student’s financial picture has not changed significantly, they can expect a similar financial aid package for the coming school year.

Financial aid staff are available to answer your questions. Please call our main number 413.559.5484.

What's the timeline for the 2019-2020 financial aid award year?

  • The Financial Aid Office has begun reviewing applications for the 2019-2020 award year.
  • Families who complete their financial aid application by the May 1, 2019 deadline will receive their award letters by early June. 
  • Students will receive an email letting them know that their award is ready to be viewed on The Hub as soon as it is complete.
  • International students:
    • International students do not need to reapply for aid each year.
    • Your financial aid award will be based on percentage of the tuition that you were promised as a first year student.  However, if you do not purchase a full meal plan, then your Hampshire need based grant will be reduced by $1000 per semester, per policy.

    • Awards will be made available in early June and you'll be notified by email that you may log in to the Hub to review them.

Will my financial aid change?

We plan to use the same methods of calculating the family contribution and awarding financial aid that we always have. We will have a modest budget for appeals should situations occur, such as severe family illness or long-term job loss.

Families whose financial aid application contains income, asset, and members of the household information that is similar to last year can expect an award that is similar to last year. 

If your family income, assets, or members of the household information have changed, you may find that your financial aid has increased or decreased. Changes will occur if the underlying application information has caused a change to the calculated “Family Contribution.”

There are other longstanding policies that might affect your financial aid. As a student progresses, they become more eligible for Federal Direct Student Loans. As a first year, the maximum loan in the package is $5,500. As a second year, the maximum is $6,500. And for the third and fourth years, the maximum loan is $7,500 in each year. These increases in loan levels do not affect your grant aid assistance (Hampshire Grant).

When a student moves from the dorms to the Mods (or off campus) and off the full meal plan, we will reduce your Hampshire grant by $1,000 per semester, as we have done in the past. The move off the meal plan still saves you money as you are no longer charged for the full meal plan. 

The $800 café card fee will remain.

Students who miss the May 1 deadline are assessed a late penalty, which decreases their Hampshire Grant. The penalty increases each month throughout the summer. Please submit your application on time to avoid this penalty.

Will there be enough work study jobs for all that are eligible?

Work study jobs will be available on campus and off campus; it's our goal for every student who is eligible to find a work study job.

What are my next steps to ensure I will receive a 2019-2020 award?

Complete your FAFSA and CSS Profile (if required) as soon as possible. There is no need to wait until the May 1 deadline, as you will be reporting tax information from 2017, which is already available. 

Review your required documents via The Hub often, even after you have submitted the FAFSA and CSS Profile. You may be selected by the Department of Education for a process called Verification. In this case, there will be additional documents required, which we’ll need to receive prior to calculating your financial aid award. If your FAFSA and Profile (if required) are submitted on time, there will be no late penalties assessed for additional information needed for the verification process.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions regarding your required documents listed on TheHub. We can also help if you have questions while filling out the FAFSA or the CSS Profile.

Will Hampshire's upcoming accreditation review with the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE) impact financial aid?

The College intends to demonstrate that we remain in full compliance with the Commission's standards. Even if NECHE were to place Hampshire on probation, federal financial aid would not be affected while the College works to remedy its probation.

International Students

What is accreditation and why is it important?

Accreditation is the system that establishes and assesses educational standards and that enables institutions such as Hampshire to operate as a college. Hampshire is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly known as NEASC, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges). Hampshire is focused on maintaining its accreditation enabling it to continue to operate as an accredited institution of higher education.

What is the office of Multicultural and International Student Services (MISS), and will its services always be available throughout this transition?

We remain committed to services and programs to support international and domestic students of color, and we are drawing on the experience and expertise of current staff to assume expanded positions in this area. As long as we have international students on campus, Hampshire is committed to providing the necessary visa and related programming services that are necessary for students to maintain their F-1 visa status.

Is my current F-1 visa status at risk?

F-1 students under Hampshire’s visa sponsorship are not in danger of losing their legal immigration status.

Will I still be able to work at Hampshire under my F-1 visa status?

Yes. You are still eligible to work at Hampshire.

Will I receive the same amount of financial aid?

International students who qualify for need-based aid in their first year can expect to receive the same percentage of tuition as grant aid throughout the rest of their years at Hampshire.

  • International students do not need to re-apply for aid each year.
  • Your financial aid award will be based on percentage of the tuition that you were promised as a first year student.  However, if you do not purchase a full meal plan, then your Hampshire need based grant will be reduced by $1000 per semester, per policy.

  • Awards will be made available in early June and you'll be notified by email that you may log in to the Hub to review them.

What would happen to international students' visa status if Hampshire College were to unexpectedly close?

Hampshire is focused on finding a sustainable model for its next half century and beyond, but if Hampshire were to unexpectedly close, we would work with our international students to make sure they are able to make informed decisions about their future and immigration status, and we would work to help transfer their visa to another institution, if applicable.

I am graduating in May 2019 and am interested in applying for OPT (Optional Practical Training) work. Is that still possible?

Yes, OPT for students graduating this spring is still possible. Please be in touch with MISS for details on how to apply.

If I remain at and graduate from Hampshire in the future, will I still be able to apply to do OPT after I graduate?

Assuming that Hampshire is sponsoring F-1 visas, then yes, students should still be eligible for OPT after they graduate.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my visa status?

Please send an email to missintl@hampshire.edu and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

If I decide to transfer, what is the process and how does it impact my F-1 visa status?

Although we hope our international students will remain at Hampshire to complete their education, we understand that some students will choose to transfer to another school in the US. The transfer of a student's federal SEVIS (immigration) record to another school is an easy process. If a student decides to transfer, MISS will need a copy of the student’s acceptance letter to the new school. We will then transfer the student’s record in SEVIS to the new school so they can issue an I-20 form to attend their institution. If the F1 visa stamp in the student’s passport is still valid, they will be able to use that visa (even though it will list Hampshire College) along with the new school’s I-20 form to re-enter the US if they travel abroad.

On-Campus Support for Students

Residence and Student Life

For answers to questions not answered in the FAQ, contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@hampshire.edu.

Health and Counseling Services

Schedule medical and mental health appointments at 413.559.5458 or healthservices@hampshire.edu.

Services are available to all students regardless of whether or not they have Hampshire health insurance.

Mental health services and support include:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Groups
  • 24/7 access to emotional and mental health support by licenses therapists by calling 413.559.5458, option 1.

P.E.E.R.S. (People who are Empowering Empathetic Reliable Supports)

  • Wellness Center PEERS office (2nd Floor Wellness Center, Enfield House), Sunday-Thursday, 6-8 p.m.
  • Dakin PEERS office (Dakin House, J Basement), Sunday-Thursday, 4-6 p.m.
  • Questions or appointments:  peerchaplains@hampshire.edu

Academic Support and Advising

For answers to questions not answered in the FAQ, contact:

Stay In Touch
With The President's Office
Snail Mail
Office of the President
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002