George Washington University Profiling Student Applicants for Ability to Pay

By on October 23, 2013

George Washington University (GWU) applicants were assured, until recently, that their chances for admission were not contingent on their ability to pay.  “Requests for financial aid do not affect admissions decisions,” said GWU’s web site. 

While GWU asserted need-blind claims regarding its admission policies, the university was, in fact, admitting applicants who were able to pay without financial aid in favor of academically superior applicants who required financial aid and were wait-listed. 

GWU recently updated its admissions site which states: “Our admissions committee evaluates candidates without factoring in financial need. Initial decisions are based solely upon the merits of the applications.  At the point of finalizing admissions decisions, we must balance a student’s financial resources with the university’s aid budget.  This practice of being need-aware allows us to meet as much need of as many students as possible.  In fact, over 60 percent of GW students received grants from the university, and last year more than $160,000,000 of institutional aid was awarded to undergraduate students.” 

GWU’s admission that it falsely claimed to be need-blind regarding its admissions was disclosed in the wake of the university acknowledging that it had been reporting incorrect admissions data on its website and to U.S. News & World Report in connection with school rankings. 

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