Ivy Schools' Financial Policies Threatened by Budget Cutbacks

Ivy League schools are reconsidering their policy of aid-blind admissions--whereby students are admitted regardless of financial need-because of federal budget cutbacks officials said this week.

At Yale, where the percentage of students needing financial aid is the highest in the school's history, aid-blind policies will continue for the class of '86, but "for the class of '87 we will have to review our policy." Donald M. Routh, university director of financial aid, said Thursday.

If Congress approves the 1983 budget proposed by the Reagan Administration, Yale could lose $2.5 million in federal funding. "It's not that we don't want to face up to reality," Routh said, "but we won't make any decisions until we have to."

Not all Ivy schools have a 100 percent aid-blind policy. Brown University last year did not have enough financial aid money in its budget to be completely aid-blind in its admissions and had to admit approximately 2 percent of the class according to ability to pay without any financial aid.

James H. Rogers, director, of admissions at Brown, said yesterday that over the past 15 years Brown has had to deviate from an entirely aid-blind policy three times last year in 1978 and in 1975. He added he is unsure whether Brown will follow 100-percent aid-blind principles in admitting the class of '86 Meanwhile, he added officials are trying to work out a permanent policy.

At other Ivy schools, officials are looking into alternatives to the aid-blind policy Jim McNenamin, director of admissions at Columbia said Thursday, that aid-blind policies there will be looked at on the basis of short-term continuance "We're not sure how long we can continue," he added.

Several of the alternate plans that might replace the aid-blind policy include one similar to Brown's and one whereby the school would fund 90 percent of the student's need "None of these solutions appear palatable." McNenamin commented "It's hard to make a choice--they all seem so awful."

Other Ivy schools are all planning to retain the aid-blind policy for the coming year, but they all have committees working on possible changes in policy for 1983 and beyond.

In a press conference Thursday. President Reagan said he does not believe students who really need help to go to college will be affected. The proposals of his Administration call for reducing the federal loan program for students by $1 billion over the next two years. The Boston Globe reported yesterday.

Two weeks ago Wesleyan University announced that it was abandoning its aid-blind policy because of federal cuts.