right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Amherst to issue $100 million in taxable bonds for working capital

2456

Replies to: Amherst to issue $100 million in taxable bonds for working capital

  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Is this disingenuous?

    No. I'm sure they are all hoping they won't have to make moves on financial aid. As a practical matter, the thing that will put a college out of business is a lack of students, so they are going to have to do whatever it takes to enroll a full class. Trust me, I don't think anybody's financial aid budgets will be going down next year. Many schools will have to go need-aware just to try to contain the growth in financial aid.

    BTW, nothing is off limits if you don't have the money.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    A nudge here and a nudge there and you no longer have a needs-blind admission policy. Will admissions committees surreptitiously have a needs-aware policy, while falsely proclaiming themselves needs-blind?

    We are in territory with terminology that has squishy definitions. The answer to your question depends on what exactly you mean by need-blind. I believe colleges do precisely that already. Although I don't believe they are lying when they say they don't. It's a gray area. I mean, they know the socio-ec status of their applicants. They even apply socio-ec tags based on zip code data.

    IMO, all "need-blind" schools are very much need-aware when it comes to the composition of the class as a whole. They have targets. They have financial aid budgets. They rely on enrolling 50% of each class with full-pay customers to hit those budgets, even though they have standing board authorization to increase aid expenditures as necessary to meet need.

    As for need-blind admissions for internationals, I expect Wiliams and Amherst to both back off this policy after this year's admissions cycle. They are only doing it to compete with each other. At a certain point, it's an arms race they can't afford. They'll draw the line in the sand at the no-loan policy and give up the need-blind international territory. Williams only started it because they weren't able to recruit internationals. Even advertising the need-blind policy for several years, they are only matching Amherst's and Swarthmore's international numbers -- and spending twice as much on international aid to do it. There's an ethical issue here too. Should internationals be receiving aid at a higher rate than students from the US?
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    "Williams was the first. Not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they were getting clobbered in trying to attract internationals. Even with the need-blind policy, they only enroll the same percentage of internationals as Amherst and Swarthmore .." (#9)

    "Williams only started it because they weren't able to recruit internationals. Even advertising the need-blind policy for several years, they are only matching Amherst's and Swarthmore's international numbers..." (#23)

    interesteddad: If only your self-assurance were matched by the actual truth.

    From each college's Common Data Sets published on their websites -- first year international students:
    Amherst Swarthmore Williams
    1999-2000 (no data) 28/368 = 7.6% 35/544 = 6.4%
    2000-2001 (no data) 16/367 = 4.4% 31/527 = 5.9%
    2001-2002 (no data) ("page not found") 23/520 = 4.4%
    2002-2003 (no data) 23/371 = 6.2% 34/537 = 6.3%
    2003-2004 36/413 = 6.3% 23/368 = 6.3% 33/533 = 6.2%
    2004-2005 26/427 = 6.1% 21/366 = 5.7% 31/532 = 5.8%
    2005-2006 29/431 = 6.7% 28/389 = 7.2% 32/536 = 6.0%
    2006-2007 26/433 = 6.0% 22/370 = 5.9% 38/534 = 7.1%
    2007-2008 37/474 = 7.8% 28/365 = 7.7% 47/540 = 8.7%
    2008-2009 (no data) 28/372 = 7.5% 46/540 = 8.5%


    As the figures clearly show, Williams was hardly "getting clobbered' or not "able to recruit internationals." And after instituting need-blind international financial aid as a matter of institutional policy -- for the express purpose of increasing the enrollment of international students to as much as 10% of the student body -- Williams is clearly enrolling a larger percentage of international students than / exceeding the international numbers of Amherst and Swarthmore.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Graph showing historic data on international enrollment at selected elite colleges and universities:

    [url=http://i218.****/albums/cc14/hwc_1000/swat-intl-1.gif?t=1235575216]Link to graph[/url]

    I believe that financial aid to internationals may be an area of belt-tightening.
    · Reply · Share
  • JessephenJessephen 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
    The 2003-2004 percentages are wrong for Amherst and Williams
    Amherst is over 8% for that year and Williams is 6.1 %. I did not do the math on all the others but if the proportions are accurate then the percentages a incorrect for at least that year. But I don't really see a huge difference between the two.
    · Reply · Share
  • JessephenJessephen 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
    From some reason couldn't edit my above post. Should have said "the percentages are incorrect". What I meant was that for a single year the difference between the precentage in internationals doesn't seem that significant. Presumably the next year it could be different.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Williams is clearly enrolling a larger percentage of international students than / exceeding the international numbers of Amherst and Swarthmore.

    Really? Not according the actual enrollment numbers. See the graph I linked. Williams is matching Swarthmore and Amhersts intl numbers, but spending heavily to do so. Over $6.1 million in international aid this year. An average of over $43,000 for each of the 142 internationals. According the Common Data Set, Williams only has one full-pay international enrolled. 20% of all aid dollars at Williams are going to internationals who make up 7.2% of the enrollment.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    "Really? Not according the actual enrollment numbers."

    Yes, "really" -- according to the "actual enrollment numbers" directly from the colleges' Common Data Sets (CDS) -- official documents each college files.

    And as noted above, the figures on the "graph" you link to have been pointed out by Jessephen to be "wrong" -- so much for the validity of the skewed data you're trying to use in this case. You yourself are so fond of official statistics such as those from each college's CDS -- but in this case, because they point to an "inconvenient truth" (or one you'd rather not acknowledge) those statistics aren't valid (or useful to you), I suppose. But not surprising in the least, given the history of your bias against presenting truthful facts as far as Williams is concerned.

    Tut, tut.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    Jessephen: Please pardon my typo -- for Amherst in 2003-04 the number reported on their CDS is 26 (not 36) resulting in the percentage of 6.3%. And 33/533 = 6.19% rounded to 6.2% for Williams that year.

    You're right that there's not a huge difference.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    Jessephen: Please pardon my typo -- for Amherst in 2003-04 the number reported on their CDS is 26 (not 36) resulting in the percentage of 6.3%. And 33/533 = 6.19% rounded to 6.2% for Williams that year.

    You're right that there's not a huge difference.

    And about the graph linked to in #25 -- I misunderstood your reference, Jessephen. I apologize.

    Upon viewing the graph (which appears to indicate total enrollment, rather than first year's as listed in the CDS data above), my comment still stands: it does not show Williams "getting clobbered" or even "only matching" or enrolling "the same percentage" of internationals as other institutions.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    The numbers in the graph are taken directly from the Common Data Set filings and/or the historic data supplied by the colleges to the federal IPEDS database.

    I would appreciate if you would please stop the personal attacks and the "attitude". We are just having a conversation here. A little common decency would be nice.

    If you read what I wrote, Williams made a big push to increase international aid when Schapiro arrived sometime around 2000. For several decades before that, Williams had lagged behind the top schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale in international enrollment. As you can see, they also lagged Swarthmore for several decades.

    What I wrote was the Williams has used their aggressive funding (and need-blind marketing) to increase international enrollment. They are currently matching Swarthmore and Amherst in this area, but are spending heavily to do so. Schapiro has already said that ending need-blind for internationals is one of the options on the table for consideration. If either Williams for Amherst backs away from the policy, I believe the other will quickly follow suit. As I pointed out above, international aid at Williams is 20% of the entire aid budget. It's a major budget item, the kind of expense that could be cut to, for example, presevere linguistics offerings.
    · Reply · Share
  • ModadunnModadunn 6178 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I don't agree with onemoremom's assessment of information presented by Interestedad for Williams (or any other school) and see absolutely no reason why such a tsk tsk attitude was taken. I don't think he created the graph to which you are referring and besides, the difference is negligible as pointed out, so I don't know why such a jump on Interestedad. Quite frankly, he has been more than helpful in trying to explain (and thus aid my understanding of) the broader implications of any of these numbers.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    Modadunn:

    I took him to task for the inaccurate and exaggerated characterizations ("they were getting clobbered in trying to attract internationals" / "they weren't able to recruit internationals") of an institution the poster often purposely misrepresents.

    It may result in his own more truthful assessments if he understands that not everyone reading here is willing to blindly take him at his (often-distorted) word.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Look at the graphs prior to 2000. International enrollment was very low. Much lower than Harvard, Princeton, Yale.

    The point is, they increased spending on international aid because they felt they needed to increase international recruiting and enrollment. The question is, can they afford to continue spending double the competition on international aid? Schapiro has already put it on table as an budget issue to discuss. I guarantee that Amherst would follow in a heartbeat to free up some money for those cash calls.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    My final comment on this: Of the nine institutions tracked on the Swarthmore-centric (-produced?) graph, Williams enrolled more international students than five others -- Amherst, Davidson, Bowdoin, Haverford, Carleton -- hardly what I would call "getting clobbered" or not "able to recruit internationals."

    Those are not phrases I invented -- those were the words you chose to use.
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Again, Williams was having difficulty enrolling international students BEFORE they started outspending their peers by 2 to 1 on international aid to increase their numbers. Obviously, Williams was dissatisfied with their international enrollment or the wouldn't have increased the budget so dramatically. Colleges just don't increase budgets for no reason.

    For example, Tony Marx did not believe Amherst was enrolling enough low income and minority students, so he increased the domestic aid budget. That's no knock on Amherst. It simply is.

    This stuff is not that complicated. If you choose to use different words than I would, feel free to add something insightful to the conversation. The topic is the budget pressures that top liberal arts colleges are facing and the kinds of cuts that they may be forced to make. I suggested that backing need-blind admissions for internationals was a likely cut. Do you disagree with that? If so, what do YOU think will be cut by schools like Amherst and Williams?
    · Reply · Share
  • ModadunnModadunn 6178 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I think aid to international students should be the first thing to cut. It is not that I begrudge them an excellent education. However, over and over again the statistics point to America's students falling behind their international peers in educational success. It is the goal of Obama's educational plan to have every single American student enjoy some kind and of some depth post-high school educational opportunity. And certainly before we cut any aid to American families, we should cut the aid to international students.

    The truth of international education -- for the majority -- is to test into a school where you are afforded a better education. Some of this is certainly class based. But the tracking of certain countries is selecting for the fittest before they even get close to the college application process. To hear my daughter's chinese teacher talk of her childhood and journey to this country, it was pretty stressful. Her story is wonderful and a real gift for my D to learn about in a close up kind of way. Still, should my American born daughter not attend an American college because someone from another country is good for the statistics?

    Personally, I hope the efforts are made to preserve both types of aid, but I also don't want my S to lose facilities and teachers (aka the depth of an education) because the goal is to water down the product so more people can continue to drink from the well.
    · Reply · Share
  • pan1956pan1956 514 replies14 threads Member
    The private LAC's are a national treasure; they constitute a crown jewel in the educational establishment. Is anyone concerned that this downturn, deep and prolonged as it is turning out to be, may remake the situation such that students who are not from the most economically privileged backgrounds will no longer have access to these schools? Am I correct in stating that until about a generation ago these schools were in fact closed to families outside the highest tax brackets? Are we at risk of reverting to a previous state of affairs?
    · Reply · Share
  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Am I correct in stating that until about a generation ago these schools were in fact closed to families outside the highest tax brackets? Are we at risk of reverting to a previous state of affairs?

    No. The top LACs have always had some percentage of low income full-scholarship students.

    It is very hard to compare eras using measures like median household income and the like. However, I'm not sure the income distribution has really changed that much, certainly as far back as 1970 -- counter-intuitive though that might seem with all the diversity efforts.
    · Reply · Share
  • onemoremomonemoremom 395 replies10 threads Member
    "Williams was having difficulty enrolling international students BEFORE they started outspending their peers by 2 to 1 on international aid to increase their numbers."

    One final response to the continuing prevarications: even according to your (self-produced?) graph, Williams was in the top 50% of ten tracked institutions in terms of international enrollment as far back as 1994 to the present -- a full 8 years before President Schapiro announced the initiative for need-blind international financial aid.

    In addition, Williams has recently articulated a goal of working towards an international component of 10% of the student body -- and is ahead of its peers with its last two first-year class enrollments of 9% (vs 8%) international. Just as Harvard, Yale and Princeton upped the ante in this regard, Williams is cognizant that increased international enrollment will offer all of its students -- both domestic and non -- a world-class educational experience.

    It is also well-known that Williams provides generous financial aid to not only its international students, but its domestic students as well -- thanks to the numerous gifts of generous alums, parents, and friends of the college.

    (This is my final comment unless, of course, continued mendacity requires another response to provide the truth).
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity