As tuition rises at universities, one would expect admission or the opportunities to attend for students from the lower socioeconomic classes to be affected. Elite universities in the United States have claimed for many years that is not the case for students who are good enough to attend them. These universities claim that admission is “need-blind”. This means that students are admitted irrespective of their ability to pay the cost of attendance.
Dean Michael D. Smith of Harvard said “need‑blind admissions, supported by generous financial aid, is the bedrock of Harvard’s effort to attract the most talented undergraduates in America and across the globe, regardless of their ability to pay. A student’s economic circumstances should never be a barrier to attending Harvard College.” Stanford says “Students are admitted on a need‑blind basis, and the university ensures that no admitted student is unable to attend.”
The New York Times wrote on 11/30/2012, “some colleges have begun revising their financial aid formulas, raising concerns about how campus diversity — both economic and racial — might be affected.” The NYT noted that Dartmouth, Brown, and Wesleyan have begun to back off need blind admissions and that bodes ill for diversity, the poor, and the otherwise disadvantaged.
This is concerning given what we’d talked about earlier in the class regarding the benefits of diversity in different schools. I also recently found this video that talks about why higher education is so expensive. There are a lot of problems associated with increased debt for students and their families. Though I’m not sure that I know enough about subsidies and how all of this works to trust all of what is in this video, I’d need to do some of my own research. However, I do hope that de-stigmatizing other forms of less expensive education catches on soon so that people do not have to pay as much, but still receive a well-paying job with benefits – at least something that puts the individual at a living wage without being under the weight of thousands in debt.