ERIC Number: EJ841425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-1
Reference Count: N/A
After Accepting Students, NYU Asks Them: Are We Too Costly for You?
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n34 pA18 May 2009
April is decision month. And as college-bound seniors weigh admissions and financial-aid offers, the families of about 1,800 students admitted to New York University have gotten an unusual call. For the first time, the university is systematically contacting families with limited experience navigating the financial-aid process to talk about the debt they could incur if they send their son or daughter there. The conversations are not meant to discourage students from taking out loans, but they do hint at what college leaders believe: NYU is not the right financial fit for everyone who gets in. NYU is one of the most expensive colleges in the country, with an annual cost of $54,000, but it provides less institutional aid than many of its peers do. Because NYU has a relatively small endowment per student, it can't tap into endowment income to the extent wealthier colleges can to pay for scholarships and the most generous aid. John E. Sexton, the university's president, believes that students who have to work that much or whose families are overstretched financially aren't able to take advantage of the experiences that an NYU education offers. It's a surprising comment to hear from a college leader, but Mr. Sexton says he wants to be upfront about the reality that NYU--with its higher debt average, Manhattan location, and lack of such traditional college trappings as a football team--isn't for everyone. While he believes that an NYU degree is worth "every penny" of its $54,000-a-year cost, he does not want any family to feel pressured into making unwise financial decisions. Barbara F. Hall, associate provost for enrollment management, says her counselors emphasized to families that aid is unlikely to go up in subsequent years. Parents and students need to think past paying for the first year and consider the cost over the next four. When expensive colleges admit students who clearly cannot afford to go there, and for whom the colleges cannot provide enough aid, they are effectively admitting and then denying the students, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid, a Web site that provides financial-aid information. Colleges in that situation should make some hard choices about whether need-blind admissions are serving their students, he says.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Student Recruitment, College Bound Students, Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Debt (Financial), Ethics, College Choice, Decision Making
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)