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Wesleyan no longer need blind

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Replies to: Wesleyan no longer need blind

  • smartalic34smartalic34 Registered User Posts: 777 Member
    ^^^ That's precisely it, actually.

    Wesleyan is in this situation in the first place because it did not solicit alumni enough in the 80's and 90's and had been overspending its fundraised dollars. Those policies have been fixed and most donated money now goes directly into the endowment (which is what peer schools have been doing all along). So donate.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Johnwesley, I am not saying that W is no longer generous in comparison to other schools. Even with this policy it is still one of the most generous schools in the country. What I am saying is that the change in policy is directly going to impact those who need financial aid. That group will take the hit in lower admissions. The group that benefits will be those who don't need financial aid as their chances of admissions have gone up. The smaller number of financial aid recipients who do get accepted will get the same percentage of need met by the school as earlier classes--100% need met unless there is some unannounced policies also being set forth changing the definition of need. 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.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    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.

    Not sure how one follows the other. Even, if the FA budget only keeps up with the COA (which according to the new policy, will = ROI), how does that result in a reduction in kids being accepted who need financial aid? I think what you're *trying* to say, is that the rate of acceptances would probably no longer keep up with the demand. That much is true. Bending that demand curve is one of the principal reasons for adopting the new policy.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    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? Clearly what happened is that the need figures have approached a point where W does not want to continue the policy even with all of this additional money it is putting into financial aid.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    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?

    Answer: In order to manage the yield.

    If done correctly (and, President Roth seems open to tweaking the proposal) the total number of students on financial aid should remain constant - or, close to it. There's nothing inherent in the definition of need-awareness that requires a school to reduce the total number of students it accepts who are on aid, so long as they don't require more money than is available. If the object was to cut the number they wouldn't have given the budget a 15% boost.

    If people are that worried about it, they should demand USNews "shake-up the ratings" system by making percent of Pell Grant recipients one of the things they use to rank colleges. But, that's another thread. :)
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    I don't think this will necessarily up the yield but it will certainly reduce the number of students needing aid. Since W was one of the very, very few schools need blind AND giving 100% need, plus being a top school in its category and one of the most selective, what you are saying makes no sense. Kids getting 100% of need are a rare happening and those who do tend to snatch up those schools INCREASING the yield.

    This was NOT a good thing that happened. I do not blame the school. I give the school credit for being open about doing this. It could have done a whole lot of sneaky things to avoid making this announcement which will cost them some applications from those kids who need aid and dont' quite understand the way it's going to work and just get the gist of they could get turned down for needing mone,So I commend them for coming out and laying it out. But it is not a good thing for those needing aid. And it has just made it a little more possible for those who have border line stats for such schools to gain admissions if they have the money to pay for it.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    I don't think this will necessarily up the yield but it will certainly reduce the number of students needing aid.

    My bad. I didn't make myself clear. I didn't mean, managing the yield in order to *increase* the number of students needing aid. That's hardly necessary. I meant, managing yield in order to make the number more easily predictable and thus, keeping it, if at all possible, under control.
    Kids getting 100% of need are a rare happening and those who do tend to snatch up those schools INCREASING the yield.

    That's part of the problem. The number of applicants needing the most aid tends gravitate over time toward the most generous host schools. Those numbers have been anything but constant over the past thirty years, due to a variety of factors which we have already discussed (tuition creep, cuts in government aid and less taxpayer support for public education.)

    As it stands now, "need-blind" admissions is just another way of saying, "blank check" for whoever applies requesting aid; one year it may be 10 people, another year it could be 100. Assuming your base-line is somewhere in-between, how do you maintain it without becoming need-aware?
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Gap. Schools do that all of the time. Most all schools do that. Very, very few schools are even need aware.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    ^^Explain.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    There are only about two dozen schools that are need aware. Or admit that they are, anyways and openly make decisions on who gets admitted with financial need being a factor. That is for non transfer, non international UG students. Wesleyan has now joined their ranks.

    There are also a small number of schools that guarantee to meet full need as they define it.

    The vast majority of US colleges and universities, in fact, nearly all of them admit sudents on a need blind basis and then gap most of them in terms of aid. They do not guarantee nor do they give 100%$ of need, even as they may define it, even with loans. They'll accept with no regard to finances and whether anyone is asking for aid, but only the students they want the most will get full need met, and really any aid what so ever.

    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. They do that to protect yield figures, as you say, but really only 2 dozen feel that way. THey defend it by saying that it hurts them worse to accept someone when there isn't a chance that they can afford to go to the school and it is kinder to reject them. That is debatable and is making decisions and presumptions for others. Also it makes those who are thinking about giving it a try for financial aid more afraid to do so it that it can affect their admissions chances.

    This is NOT a good thing that Wesleyan has had to make this move. It means it had to make cuts somewhere, somehow, and it did, from those who have the least money, future applicants who have financial need.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    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.

    Actually, every school does that. Every adcom decision is a calculation that measures a person's accomplishments against the true cost of educating them. Some people make the cut. In Wesleyan's case, 80% of all applicants don't.
  • BigPictureMomBigPictureMom Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    >>> being "need blind" is a terrible business decision for a private college. If standards can be maintained via full-pay students, then it only makes sense to pursue those avenues first and foremost.

    (Sorry I can't seem to get the "quote" in a box...?)

    This is an interesting point of view. I would suggest that admitting only those (domestic) students who can pay full freight is an inferior business decision in the long term, although it may ease bottom-line financial pressures in the short term. Business decisions should be more far-reaching and strategic than that, IMHO.

    Colleges, as businesses, also have to consider the attributes and features of the product/service they’re offering. Most of the more selective private colleges pay at least lip service to increasing diversity and internationalization on campus, which would lead not only to a more varied social experience for students but also to more nuanced and broad-based discussions in class, a wider network of alumni/friends/contacts, and numerous other benefits.

    It's impossible to do this while admitting only students from those (domestic) socio-economic groups which can fully fund four years of $60,000 in tuition. While there probably would exist families who would enjoy this kind of campus atmosphere, my experience has been that most young people today are hungry for more than that, and thrive on the interaction with people whose backgrounds differ from their own.

    In the long run, investing in "deserving" (which of course can be read in many ways, and depends on what the college's focus and needs are) high quality students is a better recipe for long-term business success.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    >>>Every adcom decision is a calculation that measures a person's accomplishments against the true cost of educating them.<<<

    Not just accomplishments. The potential for what they have to offer, also.
  • MAsteveMAsteve Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    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.
  • smartalic34smartalic34 Registered User Posts: 777 Member
    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.

    The endowment money simply isn't there. When it is, need-blind will return. Wesleyan isn't doing this because it's "better." The administration knows this is a step backwards. However, Wesleyan has had 25 years of spending beyond its means, and that is ending in order to build resources, as its peers have been doing all along.
This discussion has been closed.