- Hamilton College went from need-based to need-blind admissions considerations, a process that analyzes financial status only after a student is admitted. Since changing the standards in 2003, the student body has increased in diversity by more than 12%.
- The changes have helped the school recruit and enroll a more diverse student body by reallocating scholarship funds from more affluent transfers and international students to need-based recipients.
- Officials at Hamilton say the need-blind mission is an important tenet of donor engagement and fundraising.
With the recent decision in Fisher v. University of Texas opening the doors of conversation around racial diversity in higher education admission policies, it's important to consider the impact of both racial and economic diversity on campus. Still, considering need-blind policies may be difficult for public institutions already facing tightening budgets.
College executives fortunate enough to command large endowments can selectively meet diversity goals across race and income, but for public colleges with limitations on institutional aid, the standard for enrolling a student body with socioeconomic balance requires aggressive fundraising and strategy building to ensure that students have access and support once they arrive on campus.