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BEHIND COLLEGE ADMISSIONS

Misguided premise on how to choose the right school

January 17, 2010

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NEAL GABLER’S Jan. 10 op-ed “The college admissions scam’’ is unfortunate in two respects: Its statements about need-blind admissions don’t match the facts as we know them at Wellesley College; and, worse, it perpetuates a misguided premise about how to choose a college based on status rather than good fit.

Gabler suggests financial aid requests will lower one’s chance of getting into a “need-blind’’ school. He contends that “early admissions favor the wealthy.’’ At Wellesley, financial aid requests play no role whatsoever in admission decisions, early or late. About 40 percent of successful early admission applicants request and receive financial aid. We are committed to providing the full financial aid necessary to insure that all of our students can attend.

Our need-blind policy is based on a deeply felt belief with a long history. Wellesley founder Henry Durant said that we must always ensure that there is “as much calico as velvet’’ on campus.

Last year, despite budgetary pressure, we increased financial aid. Today a majority of our students receive such aid. Gabler harms students by discouraging them from applying to what may be the best school for them by mistakenly convincing them that they can’t afford to attend.

H. Kim Bottomly
President
Wellesley College
Wellesley

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