Hampshire College

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#130, overall score 44.58/100

Fun Fact:

Hampshire owns and operates its own farm, which employs students and provides the campus with meat, vegetables, eggs and honey.


  • Location: Amherst, Mass.
  • Region: New England
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Liberal Arts: Yes
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,400
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 300
  • Jewish population share: 21%
  • Student origin: 22% in-state / 78% out-of-state

COST & AID Score: 7.5/15

  • Score: 7.5/15
  • Tuition: $50,238
  • Room & board costs: $13,274
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $28,830
  • Average loan debt: $4,246

ACADEMICS Score: 8.33/20

  • Score: 8.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 10.6:1
  • Median SAT range: 1210-1430
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: No

What Students Say:

“At Hampshire College, each student designs their own course of study (similar to a self-designed major), culminating in a year-long project, which can range from a theater performance, to a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, to starting a business or non-profit organization. Students who come to Hampshire tend to be self-motivated, intellectually curious and hardworking.”… “Because everyone chooses their own academic path, Hampshire can be an intense experience. In order for exploration to feel safe, students need strong academic support systems and communities. I think the school recognizes the need for stronger support for students and consciously works on community-building.”

ISRAEL Score: 11/20

  • Score: 11/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 3
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never Introduced

SAFETY Score: 7/11

  • Score: 7/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 1
  • Campus crime rate: 12.87/1,000 students (high)
  • City crime rate: 8.16/1,000 people (low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 10.75/34

  • Score: 10.75/34
  • Hillel: The Hampshire College Jewish Student Union is unaffiliated with Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad at the Four Colleges
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: No
  • Jewish sororities: No
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 30
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 2 (1 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Liev Schreiber
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Hampshire students bake “cookies for compassion” — the students try to devote one Wednesday night/month to either baking cookies to give out to help lift peoples’ spirits.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the country.
  • Kosher food details: There is a very small kosher kitchen, which is vegetarian; this is where students cook Friday night meals and Passover foods.

What Students Say:

“Each week, we cook Shabbat dinner together, and different students lead our singing Kabbalat Shabbat service. People stay long afterwards, eating, talking, singing, doing dishes and singing some more. We successfully invite students from all kinds of Jewish backgrounds - and no Jewish background at all - to participate and explore.”… “We have been having issues with people drawing swastikas in the library and the university is not dealing with it as effectively as they could.”… “We are culturally, religiously, spiritually Jewish, or some combination, or none of these at all. Nonetheless, we are a strong, supportive community.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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