The Need Blind Admissions Lie
Were you told that a college to which you’ll be applying has a need blind admissions policy? That is, the college touted — maybe at an information session or during a tour — how they don’t factor in your family’s ability to pay the full cost of tuition when deciding upon whether or not to offer you admission? If so, it’s important that you know you’ve been told an untruth. A cold, hard untruth. Colleges are not need blind as they may suggest so freely to applicants and their parents. Now there are a couple schools that are straightforward — they’re open and honest about being need aware. But all of those colleges that claim to be need blind, they too are need aware. They’re just not as honest about it.
And, yes, we can hear your wheels turning. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “But that’s what the admissions officers told me. They told it to the whole roomful of students and parents.” Oh, we know. Admissions officers are human beings. They tell untruths, too. They’ve been telling this particular untruth for many years. Some admissions officers have been suggesting their school is need blind for so many years that maybe, just maybe, they’ve even started believing it. But we’ve hired enough former admissions officers at our nation’s most elite universities to know that most aren’t that susceptible to spin. Most knew well and good that their school wasn’t actually need blind — but they said an applicant’s ability to pay didn’t factor into the admissions equation anyway. After all, doing so was their job.
How to Know with Certainty Colleges Are Not Need Blind
But we know you’re still a bit skeptical. You’ve been to a number of information sessions. You’ve heard so many admissions officers claim their school was need blind. You want proof. Well, we’ll give you the proof
– If colleges were truly need blind, then why is there a question on just about every applicant’s supplement asking if the student needs financial aid — yes or no? Why wouldn’t this question be on a separate document that admissions officers aren’t privy to when evaluating an applicant’s file? Wouldn’t that be easy enough to fix?
– Colleges rely on tuition dollars. Not every college has an endowment the size of Harvard’s. In fact, no school has an endowment the size of Harvard’s. And no school — not even Harvard — wishes to dip into their endowment to fund students’ educations. They want to invest their endowments so they’ll grow rather than shrink. Tuition dollars are essential to keeping colleges running. If a school admitted a class in which virtually everyone needed financial aid (which is a risk they’d be taking if they were truly need blind), they’d risk dipping into their endowment and becoming non-operational in time.
What You Can Do To Improve Your Case for Admission
Well, there are many things you can do to improve your case for admission to highly selective colleges but this particular post focuses on financial aid. So what can you do to improve your case for admission? Don’t apply for financial aid. Especially if you don’t really need it. Especially if you don’t even qualify for aid (which you can determine online through the Net Price Calculator). When our clients at Ivy Coach ask us about seeking financial aid, do you know the first words out of our mouths? It goes something like, “If you can afford our services, you can afford the full cost of tuition. Don’t apply for aid. It will significantly hurt your child’s case for admission. Financial aid is for students who absolutely need the money to subsidize their college educations.”
Have a question about need blind admissions and why we assert it’s a farce? Or maybe you have a question about need aware admissions? Let us know your question by posting it below. We look forward to hearing from you.