Things are not looking good for needy college applicants. Last week, I blogged about how the USNWR rankings rat race gives first-generation college students the short shrift. Today, the NY Times reports that because of financial problems, Reed College plans to substitute 100 of its poorest eligible applicants for potential students who don’t require aid. Admissions officers at Reed were admirably candid with the Times about the painful nature of the decision:
The whole idea of excluding a student simply because of money clashed with the college’s ideals, Leslie Limper, the aid director, acknowledged. “None of us are very happy,” she said, adding that Reed did not strike anyone from its list last year and that never before had it needed to weed out so many worthy students. “Sometimes I wonder why I’m still doing this.”
The private college in Oregon isn’t the only one making tough admissions decisions because of the recession. Here’s how budget cuts are affecting needy students at some other schools:
- New York University called 1,800 of its neediest accepted students and encouraged them to think twice before enrolling in the school, which costs more than $50,000 a year to attend.
- Tufts University abandoned its need-blind policy midway through the admissions process this year.
- Private colleges including Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Brandeis, told the NY Times they were considering admitting more transfer, international, and wait-list students, for whom admission is not need-blind.
- State university systems including those in Florida, Minnesota, Kansas, South Carolina, and Washington either have approved or are considering tuition hikes, which could make it harder for first-generation college students to attend.
Know of any other schools squeezing out their poorest applicants? Tell us about it in the comments.