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Wesleyan no longer need blind

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Replies to: Wesleyan no longer need blind

  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    So on a per student basis, the average amount of discount or financial aid spend is $21k at Amherst; $20k at Williams; $19k at Middlebury; and $15.5k at Wesleyan.

    $21,000 - Amherst
    $20,000 - Williams
    $19,800 - Pomona
    $19,000 - Middlebury
    $17,000 - Swarthmore
    $15,500 - WESLEYAN
    $13,500 - Bowdoin

    But, that's as if the FA budget is being spread evenly across the entire student body which, of course, it isn't.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,339 Senior Member
    You can look at it several ways. But the point is that these schools sink a ton of money into aid and scholarships. Which they have to because their sticker prices are so out of whack.

    The amount that Amherst spends/discounts implies that the real cost at Amherst is $35k per student, even though some kids pay the $56k sticker and others pay zero and others pay somewhere in between.
  • smartalic34smartalic34 Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    The actual cost per student is over $70k per student at these schools (Amherst, Wesleyan, etc.), but the difference between that and tuition is subsidized by alumni giving every year...
  • connectionsconnections Registered User Posts: 1,315 Senior Member
    Re Taxguy:"Schools are run like business, especially private schools. A school can't thrive giving away the farm to a large number of students UNLESS they have a powerhouse endowment such as at Harvard"

    I completely disagree with you on all levels. All three of my children have been recipients of major aid at three top schools; without that aid they would never have been able to go. My D at Williams is on the Dean's list.

    Schools are not businesses. A business has only one goal: To make money for its stakeholders. Lately, that goal has been changed in many too-big-to-fail corporations (a defacto monopoly) to mean merely: To make money in the short term for top executives even at the expense of shareholders.

    A school's purpose is not merely to make money for its top executives. I doubt alumni would give top schools money if that were the case; furthermore, schools rely on all sorts of state and government aid that would be inappropriate if their purpose were to make money for their top executives. Not everything can be reduced to money. If schools were run this way, they would not service their purpose. ANd where does your logic stop? If I'm the son of Mega Billionaire but a moron, do I just offer $5 million a year to an Ivy? Are schools simply going to prostitute themselves for the highest bidder? And you think the education will stay the same?

    Schools started to be need blind in the 1960s because of a vision of America that valued talent more than oligarchic connections. Earlier, after WWII, the GI bill allowed the middle class and working class to go to colleges heavily supported by the state, also abolishing the need for oligarchic connections. Most Americans want the best of the best, not some effete corrupt banana republic in which if you buy yourself to the top and everyone else be damned.

    I feel strongly about this because I believe the vision for a meritocracy has made our country great. Taking the attitude that private colleges are in it to make money for itself is a fast route to failure & low corrupt standards.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,719 Senior Member
    The amount that Amherst spends/discounts implies that the real cost at Amherst is $35k per student, even though some kids pay the $56k sticker and others pay zero and others pay somewhere in between.
    $35k is the average price paid by students--as smartalic34 notes, the cost is something else, and it's covered partly by the prices paid by students, partly out of current donations, partly out of return on the endowment, and partly by outside funds (like subsidized government loans).
  • NewHavenCTmomNewHavenCTmom Registered User Posts: 2,021 Senior Member
    So should a student who needs alot of aid not apply to Weslyan?
  • smartalic34smartalic34 Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    No, that student should apply to Wesleyan. The school still meets 100% need of those admitted (average aid package is over $25,000 a year), and will be need-blind for about 85-90% of applicants. This means there is an excellent chance that need won't affect an admission decision.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 23,955 Senior Member
    I feel strongly about this...

    With all due respect, how you feel is of no interest to adcoms. They have a financial aid budget and they have to keep to it (if they want to keep their jobs). If adcoms/colleges really wanted a "meritocracy", they'd be many different things in admissions, such as eliminating legacy. (There is a reason that the number of financial aid recipients at highly selective colleges barely changes year after year after year.)
    This means there is an excellent chance that need won't affect an admission decision.

    In reality, it comes down to numbers. Where is the student with regard to Wesleyan's statistical means? If the test scores are below average and the gpa is below average, the likelihood of that applicant being on the bubble is much, much higher than an applicant who is the upper quartile of stats.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    That Wesleyan is doing this does mean that those who are economically disadvantage will be further disadvantaged, That is the shame of all of this. When a school is need blind in admissions and also meets 100% of need, as Wesleyan was, then the fact that one is applying for financial aid or has a lot of need does not directly come into the picture. It still does, in that economic advantages certainly play a huge role in creating those students most sought by colleges. There is a direct link between wealth and academic achievement. However, the fact that you checked the little square on the app saying that you want financial aid, and that the need figure that pops up will not play a role in the admissions' decision is what being a need blind school means. That Wesleyan also met full need as defined, also was an advantage to some students.

    I give Wesleyan a lot of credit for coming right out and saying that they are changing admissions criteria. They could have just changed their definition of need and played games with the way enrollment management is done. That way they could just more generously fund those with less need. But still the bottom line is that fewer kids will be getting an acceptance and aid package from Wesleyan. THos are the kids who have financial need. When there is a cut in funds, yes, someone is affected, and it will be those who need the funds. THe beneficiaries of this change in policy will be those who can afford to pay for Wesleyan.

    Does it mean that those who need aid should not apply to Wesleyan? No. It means that you can now be denied admissions there because of the need, but if you are accepted there, they will still meet full need as they define it. It means that it has become more selective to get in to Wesleyan if you need finanicial aid. I have always maintained that those who need aid, should not eliminate the non need blind schools from their lists or the schools that do not meet full need, because for those kids who do make the cut, the packages from such schools can be the most generous. The reason for the change in policy to not bee 100% need blind is so the school can continue to offer aid to the students it most wants.

    Connections, by far most schools in this country are need blind in admissions. Also the vast majority do not meet 100% of need. Very few colleges are need blind and guarantee to meet 100% of need, and then when you start looking at some of them, their definition of need can be quite stringent, going after the silver in your teeth. Their definition of meeting need can also mean loans which really just means giving you more time to pay that bill, or work study, which means you gotta earn the money. You are fortunate and to be congratulated and envied for having children in the small echelon of getting into a highly selective school AND getting the money from those schools to pay for it. That is a very rare thing. Please do not think this is typical. It is quite an accomplishment on the part of your children.

    And Smartalic, though I do agree,as I said above that those who have need should not just cross W off the list for this development, ,there is now not as excellent of a chance for a high need student to get accepted to W as there was, say this past year. Students who need financial aid should have fewer of schools like this on their list, since their chances are lower now, whereas full need kids now have a slight boost in acceptance chances. "Excellent chance" is subjective.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    And Smartalic, though I do agree,as I said above that those who have need should not just cross W off the list for this development, ,there is now not as excellent of a chance for a high need student to get accepted to W as there was, say this past year. Students who need financial aid should have fewer of schools like this on their list, since their chances are lower now, whereas full need kids now have a slight boost in acceptance chances. "Excellent chance" is subjective.

    Applicants with high-need and excellent grades, good ECs, board scores, recommendations, and essays would be foolish to cross-off any reach school that meets 100% need and no loans for those with incomes <$40,000 a year as Wesleyan does. Wesleyan is a reach school for the overwhelming majority of applicants. Being need-aware only makes it marginally more of a reach.

    Look at it this way: if you are a high-need applicant and you DO receive a fat envelope from Wesleyan, you will have that much more to brag about. ;)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 23,955 Senior Member
    That Wesleyan is doing this does mean that those who are economically disadvantage will be further disadvantaged...

    I'm not sure that this is so clear cut. By eliminating say 10% of need students, Wes has more money to spend on those that remain in the need pool. Thus Wes can be more generous to the remaining 90%.

    While I know nothing about Wes' generosity, I have read on cc that Colgate and Tufts are generous with need money IFF you are accepted. While both are need-aware, they could be less generous in their need-based formulas, and spread the dollars among more students and perhaps even become need-blind. Wes could do the same. (One way to be more generous, for example, is capping home equity in efc.)

    My point is that while the bottom xx % that are rejected because of this new policy are certaingly disadvantaged, the remaining needy students may be better off (with better need-based packages than they otherwise might recieve). So, on the whole.....?
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    The end result is that fewer needy students will be accepted. In their stead will be less needy students. And those needy students who are accepted will get 100% of need met just as those needy students who were accepted in prior years did. So how is W being more generous to the students they accept? 100% is 100%. Fewer are getting this 100% from this time forward and student who might have been accepted when the school was need blind are going to be rejected and some lucky kids who do not have need that would not have been accepted will be getting the acceptance letter instead. How on earth can this be better, on the whole? That those with more advantages now have even more advantages in gaining admissions to this highly sought and selective school?

    The COA is certainly going to be rising next year at W as well as at most schools. So in absolute dollsars, yes, those who have need will be getting more. But they need it to meet their full need. There isn't a peep about revamping the need formula so that it is more generous. This is clearly a cost cutting measure and the cost that is being cut is that for those who need financial aid.
  • smartalic34smartalic34 Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    cptofthehouse wrote:
    So how is W being more generous to the students they accept? 100% is 100%. Fewer are getting this 100% from this time forward and student who might have been accepted when the school was need blind are going to be rejected and some lucky kids who do not have need that would not have been accepted will be getting the acceptance letter instead. How on earth can this be better, on the whole?

    No one said this is "better." People defending this aren't saying this is a positive development. Of course Wesleyan wants to keep its current financial aid policy. What people are saying, is that given Wesleyan's financial situation (not having enough endowment support to sustain current financial aid levels), it is better that Wes remain full-need and be 10% need-aware as opposed to remaining need-blind and simply increasing everyone's loans by an obscene amount.

    Though, as bluebayou pointed out, students may get better financial aid than previously - 100% is 100%, except loan levels might decrease. If Wes knows how much it can spend for financial aid, it may be able to offer better packages for some students. Not on the whole, but maybe here or there. I think that's all bluebayou was trying to say.

    It's an argument you can swing either way, but honestly, if you get accepted and have to take out $100,000 in loans, are you going to attend? Chances are you got in somewhere else cheaper. Even if the other school isn't as prestigious, I doubt anyone would take 6 figures in debt at Wes vs. a lot less debt somewhere less prestigious.

    The end goal is to reinstate the old financial aid policy. That should hopefully happen at the end of the next campaign. For right now, though, this is the best Wes can do, and everyone defending the new policy is simply doing so when comparing it to its alternative (which is a lot more loans for everyone).
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    There isn't a peep about revamping the need formula so that it is more generous. This is clearly a cost cutting measure and the cost that is being cut is that for those who need financial aid.

    Wesleyan's FA budget has been raised by 15% to a cap of $50 million a year. Even assuming no further growth from the next fiscal year forward, that will probably translate into more high-need students being educated at Wesleyan than at any but two of its NESCAC playmates (one of which is also need-aware.)
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,719 Senior Member
    If you don't like this development, the solution is to donate a lot of money to Wesleyan.
This discussion has been closed.