Tag Archives: college admissions

Why Study in America?

Why Study in America?

By Andrew Loh


“I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain.


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Filed under Education

Waitlisted? What You Can Do

By Andrew Loh and Darell Koh

So you’ve been waitlisted.

The waitlist is a cruel, cruel place. It is the liminal realm between twin certainties: the joy of admission and the (immediate and definite) pain of rejection. It is a manifestation of nascent hope – but one that will lead many to disappointment. Just when you think you’ve been released from the agony of waiting four months for your college decisions, you’ve been made to wait some more. Uncertainty all but prevails; closure is delayed; patience is now a greater virtue.

But patience is not the only virtue in this trying time. There are many, many things that you can do to improve your chances of getting off the waitlist – and the choice to strive, to work, to persevere is all but yours to make. For you, lucky sirs, college applications have not come to an end; au contraire, they have just begun, yet again.

* It goes without saying – but we are including, just in case – that you should secure your place at a college to which you have been admitted. If you didn’t know this already, pinch yourself.


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Filed under Education

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.


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


Filed under Education, Rants