To the Editor:
In a Sept. 12 statement in response to Harvard University’s recent elimination of its early acceptance single-choice admissions option, Yale President Richard Levin stood by Yale’s own early action policy, saying that early action “takes pressure off high school students to make a decision that they may later regret.”
I disagree with Levin, and think eliminating early action — on the grounds that it benefits one set of students more than another — is inseparable from increasing the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the University. But I’m glad he feels it is time to return to “making efforts to increase the pool of low-income students who apply and strengthening the financial aid packages they receive.”
The recent changes to Harvard’s and Princeton University’s financial aid and admissions policies, including the elimination of early acceptance programs and the elimination of family contributions for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year (compared to the $45,000 cutoff at Yale), has made this academic year an excellent time for Yale to make similar or stronger improvements to its policies.
To get Levin off to a great start in making Yale an egalitarian, diverse and responsible university this year, I’m happy to make some suggestions:
1. Follow both Harvard and Princeton’s leads by eliminating early action applications for the class of 2012.
2. Retake the lead from Harvard by eliminating the family-contribution requirement for a larger number of families who still struggle to afford the education of their children.
3. Reduce the term-time and summer student requirement, both of which burden lower-income students more than anyone else.
Elijah Barrett ’09
Sept. 19, 2006