Grinnell College, which this year reported the fifth-largest endowment of any liberal arts college, announced Thursday that it would spend the next few months engaged in a conversation with campus stakeholders about changing its financial aid policies – including potentially, but probably not, going as far as making changes to need-blind admission. That makes it the second high-profile liberal arts college, following Wesleyan University this summer, to broach the topic in recent months.
Grinnell’s announcement stands out for two major reasons. Grinnell is one of the wealthiest liberal arts colleges in the country, so the idea that it would view its current financial aid model as unsustainable could be a bellwether that the sector as a whole is reconsidering the model. Second, the college’s administrators are taking an unusually public approach to a discussion that arouses strong emotions, trying to educate all campus constituents on why they think change might be necessary and hoping that, in doing so, they can mollify potential critics.
“I think this is a conversation we can have in a reasonable manner,” said President Raynard Kington in an interview. “I think everybody realizes that something has to change or that we’ll have to face even tougher choices down the road.”
» via Inside Higher Ed
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