Tag Archives: affordability forum

Today: Trustees Debate End to Need-Blind Admissions

Also: Roth discusses plan to link tuition increases with inflation, encourages three-year graduation.

Earlier this month, in the wake of the Affordability Forum with President Roth, I posted a brief history of need-blind activism at Wesleyan. In particular, I included an interview with Ben Foss ’95 about the 1992 occupation of North College following President Chace’s proposal to modify Wesleyan’s need-blind status. Wesleyan, I explained then, is today considering instituting a cap on financial aid, a policy under which the University would remain need-blind for 85%, maybe 90% of admitted students in the Class of 2017. Once that cap is reached, admissions would begin to take financial need into account in its acceptance decisions.

So Robert Alvarez ’96, a fellow activist and former member of Wesleyan Republicans, wrote in with additional reflections:

These were not exclusively “radical” undertakings by any means. Rather, they truly united the campus. [ . . . ] In fact, the Wesleyan Republicans that year wound up spending most of our budget faxing out press releases the day of the North College takeover (yes, go ahead  and snicker, but you didn’t email stuff like that back then and faxing was actually pretty expensive). That type of broad-based organizing is tons of hard work, but it is also powerfully effective when you pull it off. I truly hope that a similarly broad-based coalition can come together and protect Wesleyan’s proud financial aid tradition once again.

Turns out Judgment Day is sooner than I realized. Today, at 9:30 a.m. in the Daniel Family Commons, Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees will meet to discuss Roth’s budget proposals for the coming academic year. When the proposed budget passes, it will spell a short-term end to longstanding need-blind admissions practices at Wesleyan. It will also mean linking tuition increases with inflation and encouraging a three-year graduation route. The Affordability Forum hinted at a willingness to include Wes students in the ongoing discussion. So where is all the fanfare, the chanting, the debating?

Notes from the Above-Ground: A (Very) Brief Go-Over on the Affordability Forum

So, coming off a particular thread of conversation that’s been popping up contemporaneously with the WSA Elections – this school’s affordability in the face of rising tuition fees – the WSA recently held a forum that brought in President Roth, Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts, and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Meislahn to speak to concerned students and provide their perspective on the issue.

We sent in one of our super-duper undercover reporters to oversee the proceedings. Scribbles from hir notepad after the jump. Also, remember to write-in your vote for WSA Election dark horse (or Horse of Color) candidate A-Batte. #anwar4lyfe