Hampshire College in Amherst has twice the number of first-generation students and students of color as it did five years ago. To help them afford the $50,000 tuition, it has decreased its merit scholarships and used that money instead for need-based aid.Related: "South San Jose school district decides to close three schools"
Regionally, the story is more nuanced. The number of college applicants from the South and West is predicted to grow, while the number in the Northeast and Midwest will likely decline. About 45 percent of the nation’s high school graduates will be from the South by 2030, according to the commission’s latest report on the topic, which means New England colleges will likely focus more of their recruiting efforts there.
The valley’s high cost of housing has contributed to a drop in student enrollment. As families with young children flee to more affordable areas, Oak Grove has lost more than 200 students annually for the past four years. That’s projected to cost the district $2.3 million this year.
Oak Grove has lost 1,800 students since a high in 1996-97, a 15 percent drop.