Student aid unchanged by suit
By Alice Gilchrist
The class of 1995 is the first to have their financial aid packages put together without a meeting of the Overlap Group. The group, composed of MIT and several Ivy League schools, is currently the subject of a Justice Department anti-trust investigation.
According to Director of Student Financial Aid Leonard V. Gallagher '54, there does not seem to be any change in the students' reactions to their packages. Gallagher said that "MIT's financial aid offerings have not been affected by the suit" or by the end of inter-school discussions.
Gallagher also said that he has seen about the usual number of students calling or coming in to complain about their financial aid this year. He declined to comment further in order to protect MIT's interests in the pending investigation, which should be resolved by a trial or a pretrial agreement before next April.
Monica L. Niles '91 of the Admissions Receptions Office said it looks to her as if "financial aid is not that much more significant than anything else" in students' enrollment decisions. Niles also said she believes that those who choose not to enroll usually don't think MIT has the "right environment for them."
Many students chose Harvard
over MIT for financial reasons
According to the Institute's 1991 report on the "Admitted Student Questionnaire" -- a summary of the responses of students admitted to the Class of 1995 -- those students who were admitted and chose not to enroll at MIT ranked the Institute lower in quality of social life, major of interest, and academic reputation than those students who did enroll.
The report does show that of admitted students who chose not to enroll, 28 percent said that MIT offered them the smallest financial aid package of all the schools that accepted them. An additional 17 percent said MIT offered them financial aid that was lower than most of the schools that accepted them.
According to Admissions Office Senior Secretary Elizabeth H. Johnson, Stanford and Harvard/Radcliffe are MIT's two biggest competitors for students. Forty-five percent of students who chose Harvard over MIT and 32 percent of those who chose Stanford said that financial aid was a significant factor in their decision. However, both Johnson and Niles warn that students often do not take the questionnaires too seriously.
The Bronx School of Science, a high school which sends many students to MIT, has many seniors every year who are forced to turn down top schools because of financial aid, according to college coordinator Albert Forbes. For instance, he said that last year's salutatorian was accepted at every top college and attended a less prestigious school merely because of financial aid.
MIT refused to sign
The pending federal suit stems from an investigation of the Institute's collective dealings with the Ivy League and other schools, according to Associate Director and Executive Officer of Student Financial Aid Stanley G. Hudson. MIT and the other schools are charged with violating the Sullivan Anti-Trust Act.
MIT is the only school involved in the suit at this point because the schools have signed a consent decree. According to Hudson, the decree basically said, "We did nothing wrong, but we're not going to do it anymore." MIT officials refused to sign the decree because they felt the Institute had not done anything illegal, according to Hudson.