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Report: Ivy League Investigating Cornell's Financial Aid Policies?

MetaEzra has learned that the Ivy League office is currently investigating the University's new policies that provide "enhanced financial aid" to select students from certain groups, including underrepresented minorities, recruited students, and outstanding oboe players.

When the University announced the new policies last year, it was a head scratcher, because it sounded a lot like merit-based financial aid, which the Ivy League explicitly forbids. But we assumed that Cornell knew what it was doing -- and that giving some students loans and other students grants might be acceptable because both were forms of need-based financial aid.

Besides, there had been allegations that other schools in the Ancient Eight had been egregiously breaking these rules for some time:

From David Harris:

We’re less competitive because there has been a relative change in what we do for athletes – not an absolute change what we do for athletes. Harvard, Yale and Princeton and in particular Harvard, has gone way beyond in what it they can offer kids in terms of parent contributions and in terms of loans in terms of how much summer savings is expected – a whole range of things. There are a number of our peer institutions who are matching Harvard, Yale and Princeton on these terms in ways that are hard to reconcile with Ivy League rules in many cases.

And Andy Noel:

Noel believes that schools have found ways to “creatively finance” athletes by designating some students as “high priority,” such as certain minorities or genders. By applying this standard to all students, it allows schools to better package financial aid.

So does Cornell get penalized because we are the first to admit what we are doing? And will Larry the Lacrosse Player and Ollie the Oboe Player have their grants reneged?

One thing is for certain -- if Cornell ever wants to have a winning football team, the rules for Ivy League parity will have to be revisited.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on January 02, 2010 (#)

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