Need-Blind Admission

<p>What does need-blind admission? Does this mean that applicants that need financial aid will be against students who don't or does it mean that the schools doesn't look at the amount of financial aid you need? I read somewhere that around 90% of USA families could qualify for financial aid yet only about 45% of Andover students are on financial aid.</p>

<p>Needs Blind Admission means they look at your application separate from any financial aid. The people reading the application don’t know if you have applied for aid or not. If they accept you, they guarantee to give you financial aid to cover what your demonstrated need. Andover and St. Andrew’s are I believe the only truly needs blind admission schools at this time. </p>

<p>There are other schools that don’t really consider FA when making acceptance decisions, but don’t guarantee full FA. Some schools may accept a student, but not be able to meet full financial need. And there are some schools that do consider FA when making decisions. </p>

<p>Also, maybe 90% of USA families could qualify for financial aid, but most people are not applying to boarding school. The median income in the US for 2011 was around 50k. Exeter promises full tuition for accepted students from families making less than 75k. </p>

<p>From Exeter’s website:
Exeter has a very generous financial aid program for families with incomes up to $200,000 and beyond. This means that 95 percent of families in the United States are at income levels that, depending on their circumstances, could allow them to be eligible for financial aid at Exeter. </p>


<p>The Roxbury Latin School in Boston has a “true” needs-blind admission policy. </p>

<p>The school does NOT consider an applicant’s family’s finances during the admission process and if a student is accepted, then that student’s financial needs (relative to attending the school) will be met. The socio-economic diversity created by this policy makes for a unique student body and provides the school an exceptionally qualified prospective applicant pool from which to select its students.</p>

<p>I was aware of Exeter having a similar policy. I did not know of any other schools with a “true” needs-blind admission’s policy as I thought that St Andrew’s limited their FA to international students.</p>

<p>Just to be clear, Exeter does not have need-blind admission. They do consider your family’s financial status when making a decision. The only boarding schools which are “need-blind” when making decisions are Andover and St. Andrews.</p>

<p>Thanks J24601J. It does appear that Andover (boarding and day) and Roxbury Latin (day school) are needs blind and Exeter is not.</p>

<p>But in St Andrews’ own words: “Limited financial aid is available to international students.”</p>

<p>[St</a>. Andrew’s School: Admission » Tuition & Financial Aid](<a href=“Access & Affordability - St. Andrew's School”>Access & Affordability - St. Andrew's School)</p>

<p>Unless I am missing something, how is that policy “needs-blind?”</p>

<p>I do not know much about St. Andrews, but it looks from their website that International Students are considered differently for financial aid. </p>

<p>As far as US students are concerned this is from their website:</p>

<p>We do not factor a family’s ability to pay tuition into decisions about a student’s admission to St. Andrew’s. In that regard, we are “need-blind.” We meet a family’s full “need” based on their financial resources. At the same time, we have finite financial aid resources; we are not “need-blind” in that we could not accept students from a great number of families with significant need, were that situation to arise. In short, due to constraints on our financial aid dollars, we are able to enroll about the same number of students each year who need help paying tuition.</p>

<p>They are planning for the future: To go beyond funding for the program we now maintain, to create a truly need-blind School, we will use our model to create a goal to fully fund a need-blind St. Andrew’s, through gifts to the endowment and planned giving.</p>

<p>@MA2012: Can you provide links to where you found that info?</p>

<p>I’m pretty familiar with the SAS site and can’t find it in the expected place (namely, the Tuition/Financial Aid subsections). I’m not doubting you, I have just never come across that verbiage.</p>

<p>Here is what they say on the “At a Glance” PDF:
“To that end, St. Andrew’s continues to practice need-blind admission and to fully meet demonstrated need.”
<a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

<p>@Colonel: Since most of the schools (all but Andover?) mention restricted funds for Internationals, I have never really held that against SAS’s “Need Blind” status. You raise a good point though…and I will put them in a different category than Andover going forward.</p>

<p>@SevenDad - I put need blind in the search form at St. Andrews and got this page (under strategic plan) [St</a>. Andrew’s School: About Us » Strategic Plan » Financial Aid](<a href=“]St”></p>

<p>@MA2012: Thanks for that link.</p>

<p>Looking at the numbers cited on that source page (plus the fact that the page is not accessible via the sidebar menu), I would say that the language/POV cited is probably out of date. I say this because the FA numbers cited on that web page are very different than those cited in the most recent SAS school magazine. Where that web page says the school offers $3 million in aid a year, the magazine cites a figure of over $5 million. Where the web page states that the average grant is $25k, the magazine cites a figure of $39.5k…both significantly larger numbers that point to an extremely generous FA program.</p>

<p>An electronic version of the magazine is available at the SAS site:
[St</a>. Andrew’s School: Alumni » St. Andrew’s School Magazine](<a href=“]St”></p>

<p>See the Spring/Summer 2012 issue, page 56 (page 59 of the PDF).</p>

<p>For the posters who are inquiring about need-blind admissions, I infer that you are seeking schools that grant generous FA. While this list does not indicate which schools are need-blind, you at least get an idea of which schools are more capable of granting FA.</p>

<p>Try this link-- you need to toggle on “Endowment” and toggle off all the other characteristics:
[Sort</a> Boarding Schools by Key Criteria | Boarding School Review](<a href=“Sort Boarding Schools by Key Criteria”>Sort Boarding Schools by Key Criteria)</p>

<p>@SevenDad - thanks for the update. I am not familiar with the school - just did a little google search and posted from the school’s website. Thanks for the clarification.</p>

<p>Exeter is not officially “need blind” but review of the last few years data (see Exeter website under “facts”, and the Exonian on-line newspaper) show that the majority (55%) of students receive financial aid, that Exeter actually gives more financial aid in total than does any comparable school, including tuition, room, board, books and computer are supplied completely free to any student with family income under 75K. There is also support for travel and lodging for visiting the school and for parents on family weekend.</p>

<p>If financial aid is a consideration, it would be wise to keep Exeter on your list of possibilities, since its financial aid program is one of the most generous, and the student population very diverse.</p>

<p>^ I wholeheartedly agree with 2prepMom.</p>

<p>If financial aid is an important consideration for your family…then you should most certainly keep Exeter on the list of schools to which you apply.</p>

<p>I’ll throw in St. Paul’s (Concord, NH) as a school with a strong FA program…from the school site: 35%; average award (need-based) $44,275.</p>

<p>Here’s a caveat to many (if not all) the schools with strong FA/need-blind policies: They are some of the most selective schools out there. Some have acceptance rates in the teens.</p>

<p>So while they can be generous…the odds of getting in are not so good.</p>

<p>Here is a link to my recent thread titled
<a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

<p>I beg to differ about the definition of “need-blind.” Although I know many cc’ers don’t see it the way I do, my experience is that this is how the schools use the term: </p>

<p>Need-blind means the people who decide whether to accept you don’t know if you have applied for FA or not and of course do not know your financial need. The term need-blind does NOT mean the school guarantees they will meet your need. Plenty of schools will accept needy students but not offer them FA or enough FA.</p>

<p>“Full need” is the term that means that a school promises to meet the financial need (as they determine it) of every accepted student.</p>

<p>My thread, referenced above, has been helpful to some folks.</p>

<p>My understanding of need blind admissions is simply the committee does not know whether the candidate applied for financial aid or not. If the candidate is acceptable for admissions, the financial aid factor then comes into play. Depending upon the schools endowment, the candidate’s FA needs could be met but there is not guarantee.</p>

<p>The bottomline is applying for financial aid at almost any school (save two) lowers chances of admission and why would this not be so?</p>

<p>Here is how Andover explains its need blind admission policy:</p>

<li><p>“Andover … extend[s] its resources to offer admission to every qualified young person regardless of their families’ ability to pay the cost of an Andover education and we are proud to say that we meet 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need. Andover’s commitment to ‘youth from every quarter’ is truly representative of its historic effort to provide a world-class education to the leaders of tomorrow regardless of their families’ economic circumstances.”</p></li>
<li><p>“The reason we broadcast that Andover will support 100% of a family’s demonstrated need is to help families understand that Andover does not engage in a common financial aid practice known as “gapping.” Most NAIS member schools “gap” their financial aid awards by not fully funding the level of financial need demonstrated through the financial aid process. Many schools attempt to stretch their financial aid budgets by allocating smaller grants to more students, which restricts some families’ ability to return year after year in the wake of partial funding. Also, the practice of gapping creates more pressure on the school to consider those who can afford to pay more, over those who can pay less, making ability to pay a partial factor in the enrollment decision.”</p></li>
<li><p>“Andover awards financial aid scholarship grants based upon demonstrated financial need … We evaluate the financial need of each family based on the total cost of attendance rather than on tuition alone.” </p></li>

<p>For further information, see, [Phillips</a> Academy -](<a href=“]Phillips”></p>

<p>As one of more outspoken advocates of St. Andrew’s here, I wanted to note that SAS seems to have revised the language on their website so that it no longer includes the phrase “need blind”.</p>

<p>However, they still have language that states "The School’s policy of fully meeting a family’s demonstrated financial need is essential to the realization of our Founder’s mission to serve “bright students of good character regardless of their ability to pay.” The copy goes on to state that “This year, 46% of our students receive need-based grants totaling over $5 million. The average grant is $38,000.”</p>

<a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

<p>So, similar language to Andover in terms of fully meeting demonstrated need, without the “need blind” part.</p>

<p>I was curious about this change in language and reached out to the admissions office. Based on their explanation and my understanding of it, I think their reasons for taking out the “need blind” wording are very sound — and may surprise you. I encourage anyone who is interested in this great school to make their own inquiries.</p>

<p>I think there is way too much fixation on the term “NEED BLIND”. Generous FA is absolutely moot if you do not have the resume to get admitted into the school in the first place-- Andover may be one of the few schools that explicitly states that their admission is need blind, but it also has the MOST applicants.</p>

<p>To approach the FA process strategically, you need to balance the probability of your admission with your probability of receiving FA. You should seek out schools w more forgiving admit rates, which also have LARGE ENDOWMENTS that permit generous FA awarding, regardless of whether there is an explicit “need blind” policy.</p>