Editorial: Wesleyan abandons need-blind policies due to financial needs
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 22:10
Wesleyan and Yale were the last schools in Connecticut to have “need-blind” admission. Wesleyan has announced that they will be ending the policy. Wesleyan, like most other schools in the nation, was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. It is unfortunate that we have to begin sacrificing our educational pillars for the sake of money.
Wesleyan’s financial strain has forced them to raise their tuition to nearly $60,000. The increase has made the university one of the most expensive schools, and one of the most exclusive, in the nation, but now tuition increases are not enough.
While Wesleyan has remained proud of their strong academics (the purpose behind a needs-blind admission policy) the University President Michael Roth insists that, “We will be as ‘need blind’ as we can afford to be. Our models tell us that probably about 90 percent…of all the admits will be made without regard to financial need.”
Wesleyan considered other ways to trim the budget and save money while still retaining its need-blind policy. But staff layoffs and program cuts would have been too much. The result of such measures would be an incredibly expensive school with a low-quality of education.
Schools like Wesleyan and Yale are fortunate enough to have a high budget by nature of being privately financed. Many students aspire to attend these schools because this budget may give these schools a higher educational standard. As a result, it is reasonable for Wesleyan to try and maintain that reputation even if that means sacrificing need-blind admission. Other schools in similar financial straights with need-blind admission are watching warily, as it means they, too, may have to accept this fate.
The bottom line is that this is a sad indicator of the face of education today. For years Wesleyan has struggled to maintain its funding and the quality of its student population. It is a delicate balance that can only be stretched so far.