In the days and weeks following the announcement that Hamilton was adopting a need-blind policy for admission, dozens of alumni, parents, faculty members and others shared their reactions. Here are just a few of those comments (published with the authors' permissions where full names are included):
Hamilton is forward-looking in adopting this policy. As always, it leads the way amongst its elite college peers.
— Alisa (posted on The New York Times blog)
It is a privilege to be associated with a school as fine as Hamilton, and this is just one more reason why. I just wish my dad were still alive, as he would have been incredibly proud. I am certain that his smile is simply beaming down at Clinton from on high.
— Brian Bristol P'11, son of the late William "Mac" Bristol III '43
While Hamilton may not be the most "diverse" school in the nation, I do feel lucky to have interactions with students who come from all different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds than myself. I believe this to be some of the most valuable real world experience available. ... I am glad to know that Hamilton will now be a viable option for students who have the skills necessary for college but not the money.
— Nick Costantino '12 (posted on The New York Times blog)
I am blown away! Kudos to the entire board for taking this bold and wonderful step, and to those who are contributing generously to get this started immediately.
— Penny Watras Dana '78 (posted on Facebook)
Could the Hamilton Board of Trustees have done anything more wonderful, especially at this moment of history? I am thrilled!
— Associate Professor of Philosophy Katheryn Doran
For an elite college like Hamilton to do this shows it continues to be an innovator in admissions as well as academics.
— gl (posted on The New York Times blog)
As a recipient of Hamilton's generosity in past, I remain ever grateful to the College for an extraordinary education that I could otherwise have ill afforded. I want therefore to laud Hamilton for taking this bold and admirable step. This commitment to the student I believe will be rewarded on many levels: an inspirited student body, an expanded base of alumnae support and the public favor reaped for having taken an ethical and generous stance in challenging times.
— Emily Stern Duwel '83
Although need blind admissions does not solve every financial problem or make college suddenly accessible to every student, this is a step that many of its peer institutions are not taking. Hamilton is showing positive leadership thanks to thoughtful administration and very dedicated trustees. I'm going to proudly make my alumni donation this year.
— Dan R. '91
I'm very proud of Hamilton. I feel like they have always been need blind, as they accepted me and made it possible for me to graduate even though there was no way my family could have paid for Hamilton. I will always be grateful for the scholarships, the aid and the campus job, and I'm so glad others will be able to benefit as I did, especially now when schools everywhere are in trouble.
— Svea Barrett '84
Kudos to you and your colleagues for having the courage to do this!
— Dave Gordon '05 (in a note to a Trustee Jeff Little '71)
As someone who was fortunate enough to have a real rich uncle who willingly paid college tuition which my family could not afford, the decision of the Board of Trustees heartens me beyond measure. A Hamilton education allowed me to consider another, broader world than the one my upbringing would have suggested. This decision assures the opportunity of a Hamilton education will be available to those who are not blessed with some who can write checks on their behalf.
— Marc S. Komisarow '78
... I will be increasing my (too modest) annual fund gift this year in acknowledgment of the important steps you are taking. I hope that other alums and friends of the College will do the same.
— David Greene '85 (in a note to President Joan Stewart)
I am beaming with pride as an alumna.
— Sara Shapiro Harberson '97
Hamilton's commitment to need-blind admissions, to Posse, and to HAVOC stand out as the three elements that best define its generous and caring nature.
— Douglas Raybeck, professor of anthropology emeritus
My congratulations to everyone at Hamilton for reaching this extraordinary milestone. The fact that you are able to do it now — in the middle of an economic downturn when many colleges are retrenching — speaks volumes about the importance the Hamilton community attaches to enhancing educational opportunity. It's a great accomplishment.
— Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education
Sorry, I'm not impressed or supportive of the new "need-blind" admissions policy. HamCol can admit whomever it pleases, and give them financial aid as it pleases, but pretending that money doesn't matter is a psychological error and a bad lesson. How would the community feel about admission policies that were "athletics blind," or "gender blind," or "race blind" or "geography blind?" I would not support any of these either. Hamilton's job is to take all such things into consideration, not to pretend they don't exist. It's also a dart in the eye for parents who are paying full freight for their Hamilton students. They should know that a share of their tuition check lowers the cost for other students, and they can guess that their tuition bills will be rising more than they would in the absence of such a policy.
— Thomas G. Donlan '67 Editorial Page Editor Barron's National Business & Financial Weekly
The decision at the March board meeting to endorse the need blind admission policy makes me proud to be a Hamilton alumna and to have participated, in a small way, in the discussion and support leading to the decision. Thanks to all of you for your leadership and for working to make this happen for Hamilton — it is truly the bold move I would have hoped and expected to see.
— Trustee Ann Hutchins '79 (in a note to Board Chairman A.G. Lafley '69, Vice Chair Jeff Little '71 and President Joan Stewart)
Brava & Bravo! ...Now it is up to the Hamilton alums & friends to endow this policy for perpetuity. Count me in.
— Michael Keller '67 (posted on Facebook)
This could be my proudest day as Hamiltonian. This says so much about Hamilton's institutional strength and priorities. It is a powerful, powerful statement to the higher ed world.
— David Lyons '03
As an alum who received financial aid, I couldn't wait to boast that Hamilton was need blind.
— Jessica Macken '07
I have a child at Hamilton who has benefitted immensely from her friendships with students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. A small college in a small town needs this diversity. I hope Hamilton's effort to help all students is publicized and appreciated as much as it should be.
— Susan Nichols P'10 (posted on The New York Times blog)
I am very proud of the College's decision and thank the Trustees who so generously contributed to make this happen.
— Stephen Paskoff '72
In yesterday's New York Times ... Monica [Inzer, dean of admission and financial aid] is quoted as saying "It's not always easy to do the right thing." I commend both of you — and our trustees — for doing the right thing. You can be proud of yourselves!
— Winslow Professor of Classics Carl Rubino (in a note to President Joan Stewart)
My son David Sands graduated from Hamilton in 2007. I was consistently impressed with the excellent job that Hamilton does addressing the academic and social needs of students. I am so happy that a range of students from various socio-economic groups will have the opportunity to pursue their dreams in such an environment. You are all to be congratulated. You are taking the lead at such an important time, making a difference and doing the right thing.
— Sally Sands P'07
Hamilton is also remaining committed to meeting full need. I'm so proud to be a Continental right now! — Sarah Schmidt '06 (posted on Facebook)
Excellent ... upping my Annual Fund donation!
— Doug Shaw '78 (posted on Facebook)
If places like HC can become drivers of social justice, our world would be a better place.
— George Shields, former Professor of Chemistry
I am very proud to be a Hamilton alum! They were very generous to me when it was not a need-blind admissions. This just carries forth an inherent spirit of generosity. Well-done College Hill!
— Noelle Short '05 (posted on The New York Times blog)
I'm impressed beyond words — and moved. I was a financial aid student who never could have afforded to go to Hamilton had it not been for the College's generosity, and those four years absolutely changed my life. You're now going to do the same for an unimaginable number of kids.
— Evan Smith '87
What great news. I'm a former scholarship student and I'm going to increase my annual donation because of this!
— Stew Stryker '81 (posted on Facebook)
Hamilton gave me the privilege of attending a school of its caliber for a mere fraction of the cost, a fact that I am forever grateful for.
— Susan '99 (posted on The New York Times blog)
I am from a small rural area in Colorado ... There is no way my family could have afforded to send me to Hamilton, but I have been able to attend because of the college's and alums' generosity.
— Chandra Thompson '10 (posted on The New York Times blog)
As a recent Hamilton graduate, I could not be more proud of our institution.
— Mariana Vinacur '09 (posted on The New York Times blog)