Elite College to Suspend "Need-Blind" Admissions

Elite College to Suspend "Need-Blind" Admissions
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Don't have the necessary funds to pay your college tuition? That may be a problem if you plan to attend colleges or universities like Haverford College, where they will suspend their admissions office's "need blind" application review policy, at least temporarily. Dropping the commitment to need-blind admissions is a concern among the fairly short list of private colleges; those that historically have had large enough endowments to be able to offer all students admission without the need for the student and/or parent to take out student loans. Some students have spoken out claiming that this isn't a form of diversifying but rather, "financially viable diversity."

Haverford claims the "changes will be modest" and applicants will be reviewed and admitted as they were in the past - without regard to financial need. Once the college depletes its available funds, the last 10-15 students admitted "will be those who can be admitted without going outside the aid budget." Haverford already anticipates it will run out of money before admitting the entire class but students believe that "there will always be money for things [we] value." The college will maintain its commitment to low-income students, according to the Dean of Admissions.

Other changes in admissions include an increase in class size by roughly seven students yearly; without affecting the "prized" faculty-student ratio. Haverford's President Kimberly W. Benston wrote that the changes are due to "financial challenges created by shifts in the college's demographics and the growing financial need of students in recent years" as well as the “economic downturn that hit in 2008."

Haverford is considered a very well-heeled private institution, with competitive admissions and an endowment "just shy of a half a billion dollars." Do you think this is the best possible way to remain within budget while admitting the incoming class? Is there a better way? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.

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