Moving Forward as Financial Aid is Scaled Back

February 24, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Amid greater financial pressures, colleges are scaling back their financial-aid packages to students in ways that are likely to give wealthier families an admissions edge.

Some colleges, such as Williams College, Middlebury College and Wake Forest University, are no longer “need blind” when it comes to admitting international or wait-listed students. Some of these schools and others have recently dropped out of the so-called 568 Presidents’ Group–a group of private colleges that agree, among other things, to be need-blind in their admissions of all U.S. students. Still other elite institutions, including Stanford University, Yale University and Dartmouth College, that still have a need-blind admissions policy in place for all U.S. students have adjusted their aid formulas in ways that are raising costs for affluent families.

Not all schools are cutting back. After meeting with its board of managers last week, Swarthmore College decided to maintain its “loan-free awards” program for all students enrolled in the coming academic year, as well as its need-blind admission standards for all U.S. students, says Laura Talbot, director of financial aid.

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