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GWU admits to inaccurate portrayal of admission policy

After years of telling prospective students the university was need-blind in its admission decisions, George Washington University admitted Friday that it has always considered financial need during the process.

Laurie Koehler, the university’s senior associate provost for enrollment management, revealed to the GW Hatchet that applicants who otherwise meet admission standards might be placed on the waitlist because of their financial need, with upward of 10 percent of the 22,000-applicant pool being affected each year. Less than 1 percent of the applicants on the waitlist were eventually offered admission in 2012, according to the Hatchet.

Though financial need is not considered in the initial stages of the application review process, the university takes need into account before finalizing decisions.

“By being need-aware, GW is better able to stay within its aid budget allotment as well as provide better aid packages for those students with financial need,” Dan Small, the university’s associate vice president for financial assistance, told the Hatchet.

The admission website now contains updated information on its need-aware policy, though it had previously advertised a need-blind stance.

“It’s still the same process,” university spokesperson Candace Smith told the Hatchet, “but it’s a matter of one person defining it one way and one person defining it another way.”

This relevation comes less than a year after the university made headlines for submitting inaccurate admission data to U.S. News and World Report.


Former U. president to explore cost-cutting in Ohio colleges

After a few months away from Ohio’s higher education arena, former Brown President E. Gordon Gee will head a state committee formed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. In his new capacity, he will search for a way to lower college costs while improving education quality in Ohio ­­­— a dilemma he called “the question of our times,” Inside Higher Ed reported.

Gee retired from his post as president at Ohio State University on July 1 after making controversial remarks about the University of Notre Dame.

Kasich has called for “better quality at lower prices” across Ohio’s state education system, which supports 14 universities, 23 community colleges and 24 branch campuses.

During a speech Monday at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio, Kasich suggested measures including privatization as potential strategies, pointing to the commercialization of intellectual property at Harvard, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as examples to be emulated.

Though he said online education offers financial benefits, he called “hanging out at the university ... part of growing up and part of life.”

Gee told Inside Higher Ed he believes the focus on education quality should depend less on funding, though he added that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has expressed interest in these educational reforms.


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