Need-Blind: Good or Bad?

<p>Quick question: Do need-blind admissions ultimately benefit or hinder poverty-level applicants? I've already applied for some schools and selected the others, but I just want to know (already have my back-up). I understand why need-blind could help poorer students be accepted who wouldn't be able to pay, but I always thought that the admissions office could look at income levels and recognize mitigating factors.</p>

"Hmmmm, I wish I could accept this person but his/her EC's and grades are slightly lower than what I would normally accept. Oh! His/her income level is one-third of this similar student who I admitted! Accepted!"</p>

<p>Tl;dr: Are need-blind admissions good or bad for low-income students?</p>

<p>I'm not sure I understand why you think need-blind admission could ever be a disadvantage to low-income applicants...? It could end up being meaningless if the school does not also meet full need, but in and of itself need-blind admission cannot work to the disadvantage of a low-income student. At least not in my opinion. Could you please clarify why you think it is possible?</p>

<p>ETA: Oh wait, I think I got it. You're saying that being need-blind might prevent the adcom from recognizing the context of an applicant's achievements, right? That's not really how need-blind admissions work. A need-blind adcom does look at these things and take them into account; by pledging to admit students on a need-blind basis, it is actually saying that it won't turn away qualified applicants for not being able to pay. So it's not really need-blind in the strictest sense of the word, just non-discriminatory. That's how need-blind admissions are generally understood to work, at least.</p>

<p>I was thinking that, if they saw income levels, that would be a mitigating factor for weaknesses on one's college application. With need-blind, the $10,000 annual income students are directly compared with the $1,000,000 annual income students</p>

<p>I think that need blind means that a college will not use your inability to pay as a basis to deny admission. It doesn’t mean that they will not consider family circumstances (including financial) in making admission decisions.</p>

<p>Oh, okay, thanks for clarifying. Although, it does pose the question if they are really need-blind then... :P But thanks, anyway.</p>

<p>Most places are need-blind. What is truly uncommon is an institution that is both need-blind for admissions and also offers to meed full documented need for financial aid.</p>