In a bid to diversify its student body, Dartmouth College has announced financial aids to aspiring students from around the world to pursue undergraduate studies at the institute.
As per media reports, starting 2022, international students applying for higher studies at Dartmouth will be among the list of students who will be selected in the need-blind process, similar to US students.
According to the announcement, students will be offered financial aid if their parents or family income is determined to be insufficient to pay off the annual accommodation and tuition fees, which amounts to USD 80,000.
In a statement released by the President of Dartmouth, Philip Hanlon, the university took the step to encourage students with talent from around the world, without having to face financial barriers. He added that the decision includes both domestic, i.e., US students and international students on campus.
Financial Times reported that Dartmouths decision comes at a time of high university costs in the US and rising concerns over increasing unpaid student debts, sparking appeals for write-offs.
Since 2013, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire saw a rise in international student enrolment from 8%, i.e., around 1,150 to 14% in the most recent enrolment numbers, FT highlighted.
Hanlon, who had taken over the Presidents office, further added that while no targets had been set, he expected the international student numbers to skyrocket, even seeing a rise of 25% in the coming decade.
FT also reported that Dartmouth had increased its student recruitment abroad, stepping out of the usual pond of international students coming from rich families in Canada, Europe, China and India, instead offering financial aid to students countries like Brazil, Kenya and Vietnam.
Dartmouth College has become the first Ivy League university to offer universal need-blind admission in a decade. Previously, Princeton, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale, as well as Liberal Arts College in Amherst had taken the decision as well.
Dartmouths decision was the result of donations amounting to USD 90 million to the Call to Lead campaign, which included receiving a donation of USD 40 million from an anonymous donor, which further topped up the endowment valuing at USD 8.5 billion.
As per FT reports, a number of US colleges previously have announced and dropped the need-blind admission policies, inferring to financial challenges during a time of rising costs. This move has its supporters and critics. While some argue the move will bring in diversity, some worry that students from lower-income families will get into high student debts, even though they are receiving financial aids.
Reports also highlighted that a USD 500 million fundraising campaign has been set for 2023, where students will be able to switch to full scholarships from loans that were offered as part of financial aid packages.
Sources: Financial Times
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