Middlebury College has announced that they are adjusting the financial aid packages for students beginning in the class of 2013 as a result of the current economic conditions. What this means in practical terms, according to an email sent to Inside Higher Ed, is that the minimum student contribution will increase by $100 and the work component of self help aid will increase by $50. This will not have a huge impact on individual students but collectively will help Middlebury in their quest to save money.
Middlebury has also announced that they will be reducing the amount of financial aid set aside for international students.
Middlebury’s actions in adjusting the student contribution seems a reasonable approach but what is concerning about their action is that Middlebury has an endowment of almost $900 million at the end of the 2008 fiscal year. One has to wonder what will happen with the financial aid policies at colleges without the kind of endowment that Middlebury has.
I have commented before that people should not panic over the cost of college during this time of stressful economic conditions. I still believe that to be true. At the same time, this sort of news just reinforces the need for students and parents to be aware of how financial aid is handled at each of the colleges under consideration by that student.