Need Blind is No More

Hello Brandeis!

I hope many of you have read this article in the Hoot by Bret Matthew. He discusses the very scary and imminent decision for admissions to begin using a “need sensitive” policy when admitting new freshman next fall. This decision is against the integrity and values of Brandeis. I applied here early decision because I felt this school had a powerful dedication to justice and to its students.

There only reason I am attending Brandeis now is because of the “need blind” policy. Without the tremendous scholarships I have received, I would be at a state school without any of the amazing opportunities I have received here at Brandeis. For many of my friends, this has also been their experience.

As responsible students of Brandeis, we can not allow such detrimental changes to be made! We must stand up proud of the Brandeis tradition, accepting all students who match criteria, no matter their financial status. In order to maintain our educated and caring student body, in order to maintain our diversity, in order to bring about new ideas and actions for future generations, we must accept the best possible students who apply. The brightest minds don’t always come from the deepest pockets, and we need to continue to celebrate freedom of education.


3 thoughts on “Need Blind is No More”

  1. You seem to lack a basic understanding of the change. If you read the whole article instead of skimming it for the term “need sensitive” you would realize that your post makes very little sense and Brett primarily focuses on the benefits and misinformation, while only really coming out against the continued characterization of the process as “need blind”.

    These highlights explain the process, why even when it does switch over to need sensitive (for only the least desirable students) they will still be accepted and receive financial aid packages, and why it may actually be better for getting “the brightest minds” over “the deepest pockets”:

    “When the university builds a class, it ranks its applicants in a list, starting with the most desirable. Admissions then determines the number of applicants whose financial need it can meet in full. All students who fall below that point on that list are judged under the “need-sensitive” policy and the university takes their finances into account when filling the remaining slots in the class. Burg used this example: If 2,500 students apply, 2,300 will be judged on “need-blind” basis and will have their needs met in full if they are accepted. The remaining 200 will be judged on a “need-sensitive” basis, and may or may not have all of their needs met, depending on how much money the university has left over. Under this new system, both McFarlane and Burg claim that Brandeis would still be able to advertise itself as a “need-blind” institution.”

    The Hoot editorial board ignores several of the better aspects of the proposal. The assertion that “need-sensitive” admissions are an affront to social justice is a bit of an overstatement, and it involves two flawed assumption: First, that when judged on a “need-sensitive” basis, students who have better finances will always be chosen over those who do not, and second, that students who, for whatever reason, are lower on Brandeis’ desirability list tend to have fewer financial resources than those higher up….
    McFarlane said that if a student in the “need-sensitive” category is desirable, the university will accept them. Since Financial Services will still have money left over after meeting the needs of “need-blind” students, it will still try to offer accepted “need-sensitive” students aid packages until the money runs out.
    … But that sort of thing happens all the time under the current system, except this time there are very qualified students who must look for schools elsewhere because of Brandeis’ inability to aid them. The Hoot editorial board may be worried about a future of increasingly wealthier Brandeis classes, but they need only leave the office and look at current students to see that this sort of imbalance already occurs. The new system may actually be able to remedy that.”

    And if you’re here because of a bunch of “tremendous scholarships” you received I doubt you’re in the small group of students at the very bottom of the rankings list who would actually be affected.

  2. This is sad, but understandable. When you have to pay the bills, you have to pay em. I do take issue with the following,”…to maintain our diversity”. Why not just accept Brandeis students on virtue of merit? If x% of qualified applicants are race A, B or C, so be it. Programs like TYP do not solely accept minorities-you can be white and very very very underprivileged. The Obama girls had more opportunity than the average Caucasian child, let alone one who grew up in a state like Mississippi with horrid education and few resources. Wisely, Obama does not support affirmative action.
    edit: ironically, my captcha is ‘teacher’

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