Petition Demanding Need-Blind Admissions for International Students at Stanford

Need Blind at Stanford, Stanford Aid Policy, International Students at Stanford University

International students at Stanford are not admitted on a need-blind basis (photo credit: King of Hearts).

Does Stanford University admit international students on a need-blind basis? No, they most certainly do not. And whereas some universities claim to admit international students (or all students) on a need-blind basis, we’ve got to give Stanford props for at least being forthright that it considers an international student’s ability to pay when weighing that applicant’s case for admission. We’re all about forthrightness in the highly selective college admissions process and thus we will not criticize Stanford for openly considering an international student’s ability to pay. It sure beats the universities that claim to be need-blind but surely weigh an applicant’s ability to pay. As Ivy Coach’s regular readers know all too well, need-blind admissions is a myth — just like the Tooth Fairy.

Stanford Students Demand Need-Blind Admissions Policy for International Applicants

As reports Elena Shao for “The Stanford Daily” in a piece entitled “Petition demands need-blind admissions for international applicants,” “On Monday, the Coalition for International Students’ Financial Aid released a petition calling on the University to prioritize need-blind admissions for international applicants. The petition, which garnered over 900 signatures in two days, aims to push this initiative forward in light of Stanford’s long-range planning efforts. Currently, Stanford’s need-blind admissions only applies to students within the United States. ‘Think of all the people who decided not to apply to Stanford because of the need-based admissions policy,’ said Hamzeh Daoud, ’20, one of the authors of the petition. ‘We lost a whole lot of brilliant minds to peer institutions in this country that do offer need-blind admissions.’ At present, 27 U.S. colleges and universities including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and MIT offer need-blind admissions for international students. According to Daoud, the main reason Stanford does not yet have need-blind admissions is due to a shortage of resources.”

The Size of Stanford’s Endowment

But as of 2016, Stanford University’s endowment stood at over $22 billion. Stanford boasts one of the largest university endowments in the world. So when Stanford student Hamzeh Daoud states in the piece in “The Stanford Daily,” “It’s understandable that although we have a very large endowment, that we still need money to have need-blind admissions,” we can’t help but find ourselves confused. After all, universities with much smaller endowments than Stanford claim to offer need-blind admissions to international applicants. Surely some of Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s record-setting donations to the university could be earmarked for financial aid for international applicants, to attract the best and the brightest our world has to offer? After all, Nike’s roots don’t just trace through Oregon. They trace through Japan.

And yet at the same time, we find ourselves reluctant to criticize Stanford for not openly offering need-blind admission to international applicants because — maybe — Stanford is just being forthright whereas other highly selective universities that claim to offer need-blind admission to international applicants so often aren’t telling it like it is. After all, if need-blind admission really did exist, then why oh why does it ask on so many college supplements: “Do you need financial aid?” Why wouldn’t this question be on a document that the very admissions officers debating the student’s case for admission weren’t privy to? …Bueller. Bueller.

Have a question on Stanford’s financial aid policy for international applicants? Let us know your question by posting it below.

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