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Some Colleges Rethink Need-Blind Admissions

Here's a trend worth noting for high school seniors: Some colleges are moving away from need-blind admissions.

While many institutions value the concept of opening their doors to the best students regardless of ability to pay, in these economic times it appears to some money does matter. The situation is outlined in an Inside Higher Ed article posted today.

This is an issue at nonprofit, private colleges that have higher sticker prices but typically offer grants and scholarships to bring down the cost to students. If some schools in the sector indeed put need-blind policies aside, it could drive more lower-income students who can't come up with the tuition at private schools to go public institutions.

"Though the number of colleges that have publicly discussed such a policy change is small, many administrators in the sector say that such concerns are on the minds of more and more administrators, particularly as colleges face market and political pressure on the rate of tuition growth, as endowment returns fail to reach prerecession levels, and as an uneasy stock market makes donors uneasy," Inside Higher Ed says.

This possible shift makes it even more important for students to look carefully at student financial-aid award letters (increasingly designed for clarity) to sort out a college's offer of grants, which don't have to be repaid, versus offers of loans and work-study, which put more responsibility for financing on the shoulders of families.

For more on the cost difference for private and public college, as well as trends in financial aid, see the recent reports released earlier this month from The College Board.

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