Tag Archives: endowment for financial aid

NPR Report: Wesleyan Part of Larger Trend In Colleges’ Financial Woes

NPR has a story this week on how the financial cancer attacking many elite private colleges—that is, more money coming out than in—is affecting schools like Grinnell College, MIT, and, of course, Wes. The focus is on recent struggles over need-blind admissions. Grinnell seems to be an unusual case; despite not being in the same admissions tier as Wes (with an acceptance rate of 43%), it has enjoyed a rosy financial situation thanks in no small part to Warren Buffett sitting on its board. This has allowed it to pay 60% of its students’ costs, which is a higher rate than any other school except Harvard.

Even Grinnell, however, is showing the first signs of trouble, and says it has reached the point where it has had to switch some of its grants to loans.

“We don’t get in a room and say, ‘OK, do we give more aid here or do we give a raise to a professor over here?’ It’s never that stark, but behind the curtain, what’s happening is this tradeoff,” says Kington.

The towering monolith of MIT, meanwhile, told NPR it would never ever ever in a million years end need-blind admissions. “That’s one of our rock-solid principles. It’s sort of built into our DNA,” said MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson. Hopefully we will not have to see the unsustainable financial models and practices of these elite universities bring them, in 10 or 20 years, to the point Wesleyan is at now. NPR says the end of need-blind policies has sustained “some backlash” herea big understatement.

Roth + Weil = $$$ 4 U(!!!)

“And just like he said, I coulda told ya / M. Roth, the holder of a boulder, the money folder.”

Michael Roth and Professor Kari Weil, notorious cutest couple of Arguses past, have opted to donate $100,000 to Wesleyan’s endowment for financial aid. Repeat for emphasis: President Roth and Professor Kari Weil have opted to donate $100,000 to Wesleyan’s endowment for financial aid. Special thanks to the Wesleyan Connection for the tip, and slightly specialer thanks to Roth and Weil for, err, the 100 grand. Seriously: thanks, you guys! This is grand stuff. As Trustee-in-Chief Joshua Boger ’73 wisely put it,

I can’t thank Michael and Kari enough for their generosity. Their gift represents the kind of ‘stretch gift’ that we are frequently soliciting from other alumni and their families, and I hope that all members of the Wesleyan community will follow their lead in making Wesleyan a philanthropic priority.

According to the Connection report, Wes is spending $47 million on financial aid this academic year. (In 2011, you may recall, Wes raised $37.74 million, nearly half of which went towards aid. At the time, Roth spoke hopefully about strengthening the university’s “economic foundation” and minimizing the need to hike tuition again, as Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted to do a year ago this week.)