Since 1965, the Five College Consortium has worked for the cultural and educational advancement of its five member schools- Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
It's hard to ignore the presence of the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley area. Throughout the Valley, these schools and their students are present socially, culturally and economically. Together, Five College member campuses enroll some 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students, who spend their time and money in the Valley, contributing tens of millions of dollars to the local economy. Each year, hundreds of these students service their communities by working in Springfield, Amherst, Holyoke and other local cities and towns to support the efforts of teachers, social service providers and local businesses.
The Five College campuses themselves employ some 10,000 faculty and staff members, with a combined annual payroll of more than $775 million. An additional $15 million is spent each year by the schools' local purchasing and procurement.
In recent years, the Five College campuses have also spent hundreds of millions of dollars in construction expenses, creating hundreds of jobs for local businesses. The consortium also serves local governments, bringing in approximately $1 million each year in real estate taxes alone. When fees for civic services, such as power, water and sewage, are included, the total reaches approximately $3 million.
The Consortium has also brought technological advancements to the Pioneer Valley. A fiber optic network links not only Five College campuses but also Cooley Dickinson Hospital and several area towns. The network is more than 53 miles long, with a cost totaling $4 million upon its completion.