More applications.

Students are applying to the state’s public colleges and universities in record numbers, as the nation’s financial crisis forces more families to consider less expensive schools. …

Framingham State and Westfield State colleges have seen more than 40 percent increases in applicants from this time a year ago, while the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams has seen a 60 percent jump. Early-action applications at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston have risen 75 percent.

Good news for Williams’ neighbors.  The article mentions, quite sensibly, that most of these colleges don’t have much of an ability to increase enrollment, so the effect will likely be a somewhat more select incoming class at MCLA.

Also, interesting data coming in on recession effects.

At Framingham State College, where applications for the fall and spring have risen to an unprecedented extent, more than one-third came from families making more than $100,000 annually.

“For a public college, that’s very surprising,” said Nick Figueroa, dean of undergraduate admissions at the college, where annual tuition and fees this year total $6,141. “You tend to see more middle-income families.”

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