Need-blind admissions coverage gets nod from ProPublica for year’s best education reporting

Media Credit: Representatives and top officials in the admissions office had told potential applicants at GW did not factor financial aid need into admissions decisions. Administrators told The Hatchet this year that the University is actually "need-aware" in admissions decisions. Hatchet File Photo

Representatives and top officials in the admissions office had told potential applicants at GW did not factor financial aid need into admissions decisions. Administrators told The Hatchet this year that the University is actually "need-aware" in admissions decisions. Hatchet File Photo

ProPublica, an investigative news organization, named The Hatchet’s story on GW’s misrepresentation of an admissions policy one of the year’s best pieces of education reporting.

Representatives and top officials in the admissions office had told potential applicants at GW did not factor financial aid need into admissions decisions. Administrators told The Hatchet this year that the University is actually "need-aware" in admissions decisions. Hatchet File Photo
Representatives and top officials in the admissions office had told potential applicants at GW did not factor financial aid need into admissions decisions. Administrators told The Hatchet this year that the University is actually “need-aware” in admissions decisions. Hatchet File Photo

From ProPublica:

For years, George Washington University said it practiced “need-blind” admissions. In fact, the university had long been taking students’ financial resources into account when making final admissions decisions and would opt to accept students with more resources over poorer students with comparable – or even better – qualifications, the student newspaper, the GW Hatchet, reported.

The story, reported and written by Jeremy Diamond, was the most-read in Hatchet history, generating nearly 58,000 unique pageviews. As a result of the reporting, GW pledged more transparency in the admissions process.

Only one of the other 13 stories listed by ProPublica was published by a college newspaper. The Crimson White, University of Alabama’s student newspaper, uncovered a Greek system still segregated along racial lines.

Other stories recognized include: the New York Times report on New York University’s extension of mortgage loans for administrators’ second homes, and This American Life’s radio series on fears of violence in a Chicago public school.

Here’s our complete coverage on the need-blind controversy:
Oct. 21: GW misrepresented admissions and financial aid policy for years

Oct. 21: GW no longer calls itself need-blind. How’d we get here?

Oct. 22: As GW officially becomes ‘need-aware,’ senators question lack of transparency

Oct. 23: After storm of outrage, Knapp says admissions office will clean up messaging

Oct. 24: Pushing for transparency, enrollment manager quietly tried to fix admissions messaging

Oct. 24: Across U.S., colleges turn toward need-aware policies to manage financial shortcomings

Oct. 24: STAFF EDITORIAL: Knapp fails to take responsibility for GW’s ethical lapses

Oct. 28: The messy science of GW admissions

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