George Washington University — which got in trouble last year for misreporting admissions data to bolster its college ranking — is making yet another confession.
The university has been misrepresenting its admissions and financial-aid policy for years, touting a “need-blind” admissions policy while in fact giving preference to wealthier students in the final stages of the admissions process, according to the student newspaper, the GW Hatchet, which first reported on the practice. Meanwhile, hundreds of academically comparable but needier students were put on the waitlist for admission because they lacked the financial resources.
Many colleges and universities like to tout “need-blind” admissions processes, or the practice of judging their applicants’ academic qualifications strictly on their merits and making decisions without factoring in applicants’ wealth. In recent years, some colleges that have traditionally been need-blind have weighed whether to become more need-aware.
Until a few days ago, the undergraduate admissions page for George Washington University stated, “Requests for financial aid do not affect admissions decisions.” That language was removed over the weekend. (Here’s the archived version.)