Need-blind admission

Need-blind admission is a term used in the United States denoting a college admission policy in which an institution does not consider an applicant's financial situation when deciding admission. This policy generally increases the proportion of admitted students needing financial aid and often requires the institution to back the policy with an ample endowment or other source of funding. Being need-blind is a statutory requirement for institutions to participate in an antitrust exemption granted by Congress which remains in effect until September 30, 2022.[1] An institution may be need-blind in any given year by policy (de jure) or by circumstances (de facto).

Most colleges and universities cannot afford to offer adequate financial aid to all admitted students; some are not need-blind while others admit students on a need-blind basis but do not offer them sufficient aid to meet their full demonstrated financial need. In addition, many schools that admit domestic first-year students without regard to need do not extend this policy to international or transfer students. Schools which are need-blind and meet full need for all applicants are usually very selective as they tend to receive more applications than other schools.

Institutions set their own definition of meeting full demonstrated need. There is no universal standard that an institution must abide by to claim that it meets full demonstrated need. For this reason, an admitted student's financial aid package can vary significantly at different schools that all claim to meet full demonstrated need.

U.S. institutions that are need-blind and meet full demonstrated need for both U.S. and international studentsEdit

There are currently only seven U.S. higher education institutions that are need-blind and meet full demonstrated need for all applicants, including international students.[2] These are:

U.S. institutions that are need-blind for U.S. applicants and meet full demonstrated needEdit

A number of U.S. institutions of higher learning both offer need-blind admissions and meet the full demonstrated need for all domestic students, but are need-aware when it comes to international student admissions. However, all admitted students will have their demonstrated need met. The following schools fall into this category:

U.S. institutions that are not need-blind for U.S. applicants and meet full demonstrated needEdit

Many reputable institutions that once championed need-blind policies have modified their policies due to rising costs as well as subpar endowment returns. Such institutions include prestigious colleges that do not offer merit-based aid but promise to meet 100% of financial need (mostly through grants). These stated institutions refer to themselves as "need-aware" or "need-sensitive," with policies that detract from their ability to admit and educate all qualified candidates but allow them to meet the full need of all admitted students.[29]

For instance, at Macalester College, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, at least 95% of students are admitted without financial need being a factor, but a slim percentage, generally students who are waitlisted or who have borderline qualifications, are reviewed in consideration of the college's projected financial resources. All three colleges grant all admitted students financial aid packages meeting 100% of need.[30] At Wesleyan University, attempted shifts to a "need-aware" admission policy have resulted in protests by the school's student body.[31]

U.S. institutions that are need-blind for U.S. applicants and do not meet full demonstrated needEdit

Some schools have a need-blind admissions policy, but do not guarantee to meet the full demonstrated financial need of the students they admit. The following schools fall under this category:

U.S. institutions that are need-aware and do not meet full demonstrated needEdit

The following institutions are need-aware and do not meet full need for the students they admit:

Non-U.S. institutions that are need-blind for all applicantsEdit

High schoolsEdit

As of 2020, Phillips Academy and St. Andrew's School (Delaware)[51] are the only American boarding high schools that have clearly stated need-blind admission policies and meet the full demonstrated need of their admitted students. Phillips Exeter Academy was "effectively need-blind" prior to the 2009 admission season but stopped the practice because of economic pressures. Roxbury Latin School, a day school in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, is also need-blind.[52]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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