January 3, 2009

Cappy Quoted In New York Times

Cappy is quoted in the Sunday edition of The New York Times speaking about how the financial crisis will affect college tuition. According to the article, some schools including Vassar "may halt construction and freeze hiring" in order to provide students with more financial aid.

Cappy says that Vassar is spending $1 million more on financial aid this school year than originally planned, and will spend $6 million more for 2009-2010. This "means cutting elsewhere, including offering 60 fewer courses and raising the average class size."

"The commitment to financial aid is that those really are the best, most interesting students," Cappy says.

Victoria Marquette '10 is also quoted in the article on Vassar's willingness to accommodate her family's new financial situation.

In other news, Vassar is also mentioned in tomorrow's Times in an article about Anne Hathaway.

28 comments:

Bernie said...

Having fewer classes could be significantly lousy, but I think it's worth it when it achieves the goal of a more accessible Vassar education.

Vassar will always be a top-quality school, even if some spending cuts are made; letting in more people who wouldn't normally be able to afford it helps the world so much more.

Branchy said...

oh no!
i am praying for vassar.
i love vassar.

Sherie said...

As a parent of a non-scholarship student, I find Cappy's comment about "the best" students offensive. I'm sorry she doesn't view all students equally, and will keep that in mind when considering future donations to the school.

Respire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

I find the negative implication of Pres. Cappy's statement re: 'best students' very offensive. Why? Turn it around--what if Pres. Cappy said that the 'best students' were those who did NOT receive financial aid. Think of the fire storm that would produce.
I suggest a freeze on all admin and faculty salaries and benfits to balance the budget.
The Vassar admin needs to rethink what a liberal arts college stand for.

Girl said...

As a non-scholarship student myself, I completely support Cappy's statement about the "best" students. Students from more privileged backgrounds often have more resources to get into schools like Vassar than students who can't afford to take the SATs multiple times or pay for a math tutor, etc. It's completely valid to assume that students from less privileged backgrounds did have to work harder to get into "elite" colleges.

Respire said...

Send them emails about it:
presidentsoffice@vassar.edu

student said...

I'm a non-scholarship student who DIDN'T have a math tutor or an SAT tutor or take the SAT multiple times. And I went to a large public high school. So where does that leave me?

I'm sorry, but I don't necessarily believe that just because someone's parents make less money than mine do that they worked harder academically. I take offense to Cappy eliminating me from her categorization of "the best" students.

Mina said...

i was lucky enough to receive a very generous scholarship from vassar. if i hadn't gotten it, i wouldn't have been able to afford to go to college at all. and i was one of the the best students because i was a member of the vassar community at large. that's how i view her statement. vassar really would miss out on a lot of interesting students and diverse opinions if their financial aid policy were different.

i applaud cappy's dedication to keeping financial aid a top priority. while i know vassar's financial aid policy screws over some people, it helps so many. the financial aid office is wonderful and always willing to work with everyone who walks in their doors, and i'm thankful for it.

Sherie said...

I still maintain that it was irresponsible for the President to insinuate that some students are "better" than others and that the full paying kids are the least desirable -- but I guess we'll take them because we need their money? That is a terrible attitude. And implies a discriminatory attitude. All bias and discrimination is wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't try to mask it with "fairness" arguments. These students are being told that they aren't the best just because their parents have achieved some modicum of success. Ridiculous. Shouldn't administration consider all admitted kids as equal? Keep giving out your scholarships, but don't make the parents of the students who are paying 100% feel that their children are second-rate. And do NOT make assumptions about the backgrounds of the non-scholarship students unless you are certain of your facts. I remain horrified at the way Pres. Cappy obviously views my child. So much for my parent donation this year, huh?

Alice Paul said...

Sherie, please take what Cappy said in good faith. The Vassar community simply wouldn't be the place your child wanted to go without our ability to offer financial aid. She was saying how important this is, that we give a chance to students who can do phenomenal things only with help.

Bernie said...

Sherie- you're going to rethink donating money to Vassar because it tries to help the less fortunate? What causes do you normally give to?

Leslie said...

Sherie is either not a real parent, or has never worked a day in her life, I guarantee.

Sherie said...

Actually - to all of you- I am an attorney, a succesful business owner and the parent of a current non-scholarship Vassar student. I am 100% in support of scholarships, and, for your information, contribute very heavily to charities of all types - from animal rights to inner city missions and everything in between. In your typical fashion, you misread comments and assume facts if someone says something that is not in agreement with YOUR point of view. All Vassar students should be considered equal. Period. That was my only point. I have written independently to President Hill about her comments, and received an apology today. She acknowledged that her comments could have been read to mean that she was showing preference to some students over others. She now has explained to my satisfaction that was not her intent. Check with her if you think I am not for real.

kev said...

sherie,

congrats! now that cappy apologized, your kid is suddenly equal to the rest of us vassar students who are on aid. i also would like to give you a nice big pat on the back for being an attorney and all of your contributions to the less fortunate, keep up the good work.

now let's be real. i come from a privileged background, i went to nice schools, and i am a white male, so we know that society gives me privileges that i don't even necessarily ask for because of the color of my skin. at vassar, we are all the best. so cappy was right. but if you are going to think for one second that i, or your kid for that matter, had to overcome the same types of barriers as minority students from a working class background, that is absurd. whether or not all vassar students SHOULD be treated as equals, society has already screwed that up by preparing us with 18 years of inequality before we even get here. so accept that you've been a great parent, provided your kid with the privileges to get him or her to a great school like vassar, and move on.

Girl said...

Man, if my mother was posting comments on my college gossip blog, I would be mortified.

Sherie said...

Kev - Hmmm. I'm not sure what you said has any bearing on my point. I am dealing with administration and you can chastise me all you want -- but considering how much older and experienced I am than you are, I will not engage with any of you any more. Girl - perhaps your parents should care enough to follow what you and your colleagues are doing at college. I'm sorry for you. MadsVassar is a real eye-opener.

kev said...

if i am not worthy of your time because i am soo young and inexperienced, then why are you wasting your precious, and apparently expensive, minutes commenting on some petty college blog that has no bearing on your affluent lifestyle.

siomonkey said...

Good lord, I thought we were done with this. Can everybody please stop blowing people's statements out of proportion? Sherie is not disregarding inequality or speaking against financial aid--she is merely taking issue with Cappy's choice of words, which I also think were poorly chosen, even if the sentiment was a good one.

For a minute I was happy to finally see some discussion on Mads again, but I see it's just become the same old crap again.

Respire said...

But this time, with parents!

Alice Paul said...

Siomonkey, I totally agree. Why can't we disagree civilly? We clearly need an outlet for debate because having this much anger running underneath the surface is no good, but it seems we never get there.

Bernie said...

My question is, what does "not treating all students equally" even mean? When Cappy starts giving financial aid students better room draw numbers, let me know.

Sherie, I apologize if my comments appeared uncivil. I was trying to imply that you probably give to many worthy causes, so why should Vassar be excluded because of (alleged) preferential treatment to those from low-income backgrounds? (That said, I can think of a lot of better ways to donate money than to an elite school with a giant endowment.)

green girl said...

kev, way to go.

Sherie, I appreciate your comments, but at the same rate I'm disappointed that you're trying to stir up unrest in a community that you do not belong to. It's exciting that Cappy is so committed to financial aid because it allows everyone to be a part of Vassar. Nitpicking her comments does not help to foster the inclusive environment Vassar strives to be.

Respire said...

Bernie: While there are millions of excellent and worthy causes to donate money to, Vassar's endowment is important for continuing an excellent standard of education.
With it's $200m deprecation this year, it's not a terrible cause to support.

Bernie said...

Certainly, there's nothing wrong with a donation to Vassar. But a large donation earmarked towards scholarships might let a few more students in with financial aid. City College of New York, say, provides a low-cost education to a much larger number of low-income individuals. Imagine how much farther a donation there would go towards goals of equality and social justice.

Respire said...

Good call

Ron said...

I am an alum. My family paid my way.I felt I understood cappy the first time. That financial aid help have a diversified student population that was interesting, not that wealthy people were not interesting, just that a diverse economic population was always more interesting. But I guess in a single line context it could have meant something different. We seem to rehash this discussion every year. Financial aid is great about sitting down and explaining the family contribution, and if you feel you are going to have a problem paying, they are willing to work with you. Trust me noboby likes to part with their money, not even the poor.

Ron said...

I meant to say.... That financial aid has helped provide a diversified student population that was interesting, not that wealthy people were not interesting