I had a talk with Professor Hickey the other day. We talked about need-blindness and other similar considerations. He had an idea: what if Brandeis was 90% need-blind, or something like that? The gist of it is that Brandeis normally admits about, what, 750 or so students per year? (I honestly do not know the number). Why don’t we accept that number of students need-blind like usual, but for the extra one hundred or so students that we have to take on due to financial consideration, let’s be need aware.

There’s a certain honesty and elegance to the idea. We’re admitting these extra students because we need the money. So let’s be up front about it and take money into consideration when admitting them, but only for the extra amount of students we normally wouldn’t take anyways?

What do you think of the idea? Suggested reading – “Paying in Full as the Ticket Into Colleges

Facing fallen endowments and needier students, many colleges are looking more favorably on wealthier applicants as they make their admissions decisions this year.

Institutions that have pledged to admit students regardless of need are finding ways to increase the number of those who pay the full cost in ways that allow the colleges to maintain the claim of being need-blind — taking more students from the transfer or waiting lists, for instance, or admitting more foreign students who pay full tuition.


Brandeis University, which is need-blind except for international, wait-listed and transfer students, accepted 10 percent more international students than usual this year, and Gil Villanueva, the dean of admissions, said he expected that the university would take more wait-listed and transfer students, as well.

Why not just be honest?


2 thoughts on “Need-something.”

  1. “There are people who they admit already because they have money, and lots of it.”

    I doubt they do it that bluntly, but I’m sure that coming from a family that has contributed generously to Brandeis in the past significantly helps an applicant’s cause. I think few people would doubt that almost all colleges work that way.

  2. I think they already do this to some degree without telling us about it. There are people who they admit already because they have money, and lots of it. Thinking they don’t do this is fairly silly.

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