Middlebury is not need blind

So I was doing some stalking when I stumbled upon this blog run by “NUS High seniors for NUS High students.” Singaporeans very cute. But what struck me was the conspicuous absence of Middlebury from the need-blind admissions for internationals list.

And I was perturbed, and did more stalking.

Apparently Middlebury recently added a caveat to its need-blind policy for international students:

“In the case of international students and transfer students, Middlebury follows a need-blind admissions policy to the extent that financial resources allow.”

Wtf does that mean, right?

This is basically bullshit: this means Middlebury is selectively need-blind, which means it’s not really need-blind at all — and it sure as hell means that it won’t be need-blind to internationals this year. I told Chen Chow that we needed to tell the kids this, and revoke Middlebury’s credentials.

More stalking revealed that Middlebury changed its policy towards international need-blindness in December 2008, as a response to the financial fiasco of 2008-2009.

The Daily Northwestern says:

Middlebury College has also employed need-blind admissions for international students in previous years but changed its policy for this year because of financial constraints.

“We make our first round of decisions need-blind,” said Barbara Marlow, Middlebury’s associate director for international students. “We change decisions for some international students only if we need to stay within a budget.”

Which means we will change decisions this year, because our budget is completely fucked up.

Another article says:

As for international students, the announcement says that Middlebury “will reduce the amount of financial aid set aside for incoming international students. The reduction in aid for the first-year class will likely result in a decrease in the number of international students in the entering class.” But the announcement goes on to say that the college will still exceed its goal of a 10 percent international student body, and expects to spend more on total financial aid for international students next year than this year ($8 million vs. $7.5 million) although the figure for next year would have been higher without a policy change.

Interestingly, the article speculates that “Middlebury may just be being more honest than other institutions that face similar pressures.”

And regardless of what people think about Middlebury’s choices, Lucido said that the college “deserves some points for just saying what it is doing.”

Which I think is true, definitely. (Think of those schools who say they’re need-blind when they read your application but not when they award your financial aid package: complete bullshit. Roll your eyes. Or universities that say there aren’t specific quotas for countries = this means there are flexible ranges for countries. But there is, undoutedly, a limit on internationals, whether rigid or not.)

But still.

So for me, at least, there are now only 7 need-blind schools for internationals:

  1. Harvard
  2. Yale
  3. Princeton
  4. Dartmouth
  5. MIT
  6. Williams
  7. Amherst

Thus I just edited Wikipedia.

Astaghfirullah. Why am I so mad. The world is a lying, double-speaking place.

Edited:

From my comments:

Pinkpau says:

i harbor secret beliefs that no school is actually need blind for internationals

Stephanie says:

I agree with pinkpau — all schools play games with internationals when it comes to being “need blind,” and kudos to Middlebury, which admitted they would not play those games, or at least it would stop playing them.

Consider this: I believe Middlebury has the highest percentage of international students (>11%) among those 7 schools purported to be need-blind. How could this be so if those colleges were truly need blind? The international applicants to those 7 schools are phenomenol, and so it seems impossible to hold the % of the entire student who is international to an artificial 4-8%, which is what the percentages are for those 7 schools. I say pinkpau is right.

And keep an eye on each of those 7 by watching the percentage of the next 2-3 incoming classes to see if the % of internationals holds steady or grows. I will wager they will decline…an accident? No. All are facing great challenges and it is easy to reduce commitments to internationals simply by not admitting them, since so many are high need.

Good general point, but wrong facts:

International percentage of student body:

Liz says:

anyway, i think that some posters in this thread are confusing need-blind versus ‘country-blind’. most of the schools listed up there are rich enough to be need-blind, but definitely not country-blind. a notable case would be MIT, who actually publicly states that they place strict caps on the number of international students. i believe that the other schools also have secret caps on international students, which would explain why some schools have an artificially low number of 4-8% international student population.

it is far bigger mark of shame for a school to announce that they are rejecting on poor disadvantaged students based on their ability to pay, than rejecting international students based on their country of origin.

***

I’m on Middlebury’s twitter: 🙂

International perspective student calls @Middlebury “lie” on “need-blind” policy for international students: http://bit.ly/JHpcSabout 21 hours ago from Tweetie

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11 Comments

Filed under Education, Rants

11 responses to “Middlebury is not need blind

  1. i harbor secret beliefs that no school is actually need blind for internationals

  2. stephanie

    I agree with pinkpau — all schools play games with internationals when it comes to being “need blind,” and kudos to Middlebury, which admitted they would not play those games, or at least it would stop playing them.

    Consider this: I believe Middlebury has the highest percentage of international students (>11%) among those 7 schools purported to be need-blind. How could this be so if those colleges were truly need blind? The international applicants to those 7 schools are phenomenol, and so it seems impossible to hold the % of the entire student who is international to an artificial 4-8%, which is what the percentages are for those 7 schools. I say pinkpau is right.

    And keep an eye on each of those 7 by watching the percentage of the next 2-3 incoming classes to see if the % of internationals holds steady or grows. I will wager they will decline…an accident? No. All are facing great challenges and it is easy to reduce commitments to internationals simply by not admitting them, since so many are high need.

  3. fartravelled

    *puts on her nostalgia hat* sigh… i remember a time where i was probably the only malaysian who knew what the difference between need-blind and need-based. how times have changed. those were the (very good, because i had like zero competition) days….

    anyway, i think that some posters in this thread are confusing need-blind versus ‘country-blind’. most of the schools listed up there are rich enough to be need-blind, but definitely not country-blind. a notable case would be MIT, who actually publicly states that they place strict caps on the number of international students. i believe that the other schools also have secret caps on international students, which would explain why some schools have an artificially low number of 4-8% international student population.

    it is far bigger mark of shame for a school to announce that they are rejecting on poor disadvantaged students based on their ability to pay, than rejecting international students based on their country of origin.

  4. fartravelled

    also, uh, it’s me liz. lol.

  5. Agreed lol. Stranger here, don’t mind me.
    Guess Middlebury’s out, then. Pinkpau raises an interesting point out there, haha.

  6. actually this doesn’t make that huge a difference i think…middlebury had a rep even before this (like, when i was applying) for being stingy with aid to intls — i remember that’s why i didn’t apply there. and apparently until the class of 2012, the last time they admitted a msian was in the ’90s, i think.

    briefly on country quotas, while i think it’s an open secret that american schools limit the number of intls they take, i doubt there’s a country-specific quota. i think there’s probably a target range, but if the number of qualified applicants from a particular country warrants it, they don’t need to stick to the target. there is after all no real good reason otherwise why singaporeans should generally outnumber malaysians at US universities.

    • liz w

      “and apparently until the class of 2012, the last time they admitted a msian was in the ’90s, i think.”

      i was admitted to the class of 2008. but i didn’t go haha. they were pretty stingy with aid, but not as stingy as some of the other non-need blind liberal arts colleges i got accepted to.

      • engh

        there was this malaysian uwcer who graduated from Middlebury in 2007. She’s in grad school at MIT now.

        also @stephanie I doubt middlebury’s international statistics would have been so high without the 40,000 USD a year UWC Davis scholarships previousl , which effectively created need blind admissions for the UWC students before.

        I don’t know how restrictive these intl quotas are, but I think that the more important factor to curb this low representation would be for malaysian students to up their game during secondary school. otherwise they just deserve to stay where they are no?

  7. Pingback: Middlebury is not need blind | Ironic Paradox | The Winding Journal

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