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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Admissions not need-blind for all students

Published: April 3, 2009
Section: Front Page

The university has decreased the number of merit scholarships allocated for the class of 2013, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy announced at the faculty meeting yesterday.

Eddy explained that this decrease is necessary in order to “focus on financial need.”

Yet while the university is need-blind when it comes to financial aid, in the cases of international, transfer and wait-listed students, the university is “need aware,” Eddy wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot.

Dean of Admissions Gil Villanueva told the New York Times this week that the university accepted 10 percent more international students than usual this year.

Eddy told The Hoot in the e-mail that number will probably manifest into 10 to 20 more international students in the class of 2013 who “will bring additional insight about their cultures and customs” to the university.

Eddy did say that she did “not expect wide fluctuation” in the numbers of accepted transfer students or students accepted off the waitlist.

While the university often advertises itself as a need-blind university, Eddy said she did not think the policy toward international, wait-listed, and transfer students was unfair.

“When we talk with domestic students and their families about applying to Brandeis, we explain that students are accepted on the basis of their academic record and personal accomplishments,” Eddy wrote. “We also tell them that we are need blind up to our waitlist, when financial aid dollars have usually been expanded.”

“For international students, we explain that we are need aware,” she continued. “While we give significant financial aid to our international population—a practice not employed by many institutions—we can not afford to give all international students financial aid.”

The number of undergraduate applications to the university dropped this year from last year from the 7,000 range to 6,687, and Eddy announced to the faculty that the university has accepted two percent more students this year than last year with the hope of increasing the freshman class population by 25.

However, she said “our ability to yield a class is unpredicatable.”

Eddy did say that the university has traditionally relied on admitted students day to yield the first-year class and said that two thirds of the students at the open houses usually attend the university in the fall.

Currently there are 1,200 prospective students registered for accepted students day.