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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Development committed to financial aid, despite admissions change

Published: September 24, 2010
Section: News

University officials maintained this week that the Admission’s office’s move from need-blind admissions to need-sensitive admissions was not a result of a university inability to secure donations for financial aid.

“This change has nothing to do with us,” Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement Nancy Winship said, adding that her Department of Development and Alumni Relations was not involved in the decision making process.

“The major priority is to raise money for student financial aid, there is no change in that goal for us,” she said.

Last weeks announcement that the university would begin considering some applicants’ financial need when debating whether to accept them suggested to some that the university’s development department was unable to fund financial aid.

Indeed, Professor Steven Burg (POL), chair of the Brandeis faculty committed on admissions and financial aid, was quoted in the Sept. 3 issue of The Hoot saying “our aid funds have been inadequate.”

But Dean of Admissions Mark Spencer wrote Thursday in an e-mail to The Hoot that “I believe that the university will be able to continue its long standing efforts of soliciting donations for student aid.”

“This is not a reflection of Development at all,” Winship said. “We had nothing to do with it.”

Neither Winship nor Spencer believe that the decision to go from need-blind to need-sensitive aid will effect the university’s future ability to secure donations.

“I believe our alumni and donors will continue to understand and support the increased need for financial aid resources for high school students and their families,” Spencer wrote.

“This issue of financing a college education and the ability of families to continue to be able to afford a private college education has been around for a while and will remain a tip issue for all colleges and universities.”

Winship noted that Brandeis’ development department is “on the cutting edge” of using technology to secure donations. This spring, Brandeis received a Silver Award in the 2010 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Program in the Creative Use of New Media category.

The award was given specifically for Brandeis’ “Support our Students” viral marketing campaign.

“Over the past 16 years that I’ve worked here we’ve been through other recessions and all kinds of difficulties and what I’ve tried to instill in my staff is we just have to get the job done,” Winship said.

“It’s very important that we get the money we need for the operating budget and we will work as hard as we can. So far, we’ve been able to do that.”