Is GW University's "Need Blind" Admissions Policy Not All That "Blind"?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 21 2013 9:16 PM

Is GW University's "Need Blind" Admissions Policy Not All That "Blind"?

104364875
A George Washington University student receives her Clinique Fresh Faces makeover on September 22, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

The GW Hatchet, the student newspaper at George Washington University, has taken its admissions office to task for misrepresenting how the university uses a student’s wealth when evaluating prospective students.

During the admissions process, the Hatchet reports, “students who meet GW's admissions standards, but are not among the top applicants, can shift from ‘admitted’ to ‘waitlisted’ if they need more financial support from GW.” The result, the story goes on to say, is “without knowing, wealthier students who were slated to land on the waitlist are accepted, taking the spots of students who would need more financial aid from GW.”

Advertisement

This runs counter to the university’s self-professed “need-blind” admissions criteria, which the Hatchet reports, is how the GW admissions and financial aid offices described themselves as recently as two days ago.

GW put out a statement on Monday to clarify the university’s need-based admissions policy, describing it as “need aware.” Here’s part of what Senior Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Laurie Koehler had to say:

I believe using the phrase “need aware” better represents the totality of our practices than the phrase “need blind.”  It is important to note that consideration of need occurs at the very end of the admissions process.  The first review of applications is need blind and admissions committees recommend candidates for admission with no knowledge of need.  Some admissions professionals use the phrase “read need blind” to describe a process like ours where the admissions committees do not have access to the amount of need of an applicant. 

“Today’s story in the independent student newspaper the GW Hatchet may have given the impression that the university’s consideration of student need in its admissions process has changed,” the statement also reads. The Hatchet story disputes that assertion, saying:

But as recently as Saturday, admissions representatives told prospective students in an information session that their applications would be judged without glancing at their financial aid profiles. And until it was removed Saturday evening, the undergraduate admissions website read, "Requests for financial aid do not affect admissions decisions." That webpage now explains GW's "need-aware" policy.

 

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.