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Yes, the total number of aid has been increased, just as the total COA will increase, But there will be fewer kids accepted who have financial need. That is the direct consequence of this change in policy.
Johnwesley, by definition, by becoming need aware, it's going to result in a reduction in kids being accepted who need financial aid. Why else would a school become need aware and leave other policies such as meeting 100% of need intact?
I don't think this will necessarily up the yield but it will certainly reduce the number of students needing aid.
Kids getting 100% of need are a rare happening and those who do tend to snatch up those schools INCREASING the yield.
So I applaud Wesleyan for coming right out and saying they will reject applicants because they need financial aid. That the person's financial need will be considered in admissions. However, very few schools do that.
Being honest is generally good. Being unfair is bad.
Wesleyan is not running a restaurant. It is providing education. And there are more students who want that education than there are spots as Wesleyan. In determining who gets those seats, they should look at what the students themselves have achieved and not at how much money their parents happened to earn.