Note: This post is the first in a series of posts exploring the argument in favor of scaling back need-blind. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments, and keep it civil.
If you go to Google and type in “need blind,” what shows up (in order) is a Wikipedia entry, a fact or fiction essay from College Insider, and an article about Wesleyan. You would have to be living under a rock not to know about the fiery controversy that started during the end of the spring semester last year. Whether it be banners hung at graduation or chalk marks lining the sidewalks, students are speaking up, and for the most part, they are not happy.
It seems, at first glance, that removing the need-blind blanket on Wesleyan admissions is an elitist leap made to help improve Wes endowment. Increasing endowment has been one of President Roth’s goals for a while, and it’s clear why. And what better way to increase endowment than admitting upper-class students whose parents can afford to make private donations? If Wesleyan can see exactly how much a student needs in aid when applying, you can imagine the ease with which they’d be able admit the rich and ignore the poor. When looking through this narrow lens, removing need-blind admissions is nothing short of an evil scheme to get us on track with the other “little Ivies.”
But the desire for huge stacks of money is not totally fiendish. After all, the cost of running a school is great when you take into account all the expenses that factor into it.