2019 Dean’s Letter to Counselors
The following was published in our annual newsletter to school counselors, which mailed in September 2019.
You may recall that last year I wrote about how my work seems to follow me wherever I go. Like last summer, I again spent time visiting my nephew, a rising high school junior, and his parents. And just like last year, it seemed that every conversation eventually turned to his college plans. Where our previous discussions were more hypothetical, he (and his parents) now have more clarity and focus. They are all thinking carefully about his classes and the activities he’ll pursue, aware that the next two years will greatly impact his college options.
While my nephew spent time at his summer internship, my sister and brother-in-law took a deep dive into considering the investment they are about to make. They know that the value of a college education is measured not only by the degree received, but also by the connections and experiences that happen along the way. As a higher education professional, I am keenly aware of the importance of college planning and the weight of responsibility students and families feel as they navigate their college search.
Conversations like these remind me of how fortunate I am to represent Hamilton College — a place that is committed to ensuring that its education is both worthy of the investment that families make and also available to talented students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. This year, the College will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a need-blind institution. In a true act of leadership, Hamilton adopted this policy during a time of economic uncertainty in our country, and in response to changing demographics and a desire to attract and enroll the strongest students, regardless of their family’s ability to pay our costs.
Although sustaining this promise is not without challenges (we recently launched a $400 million fundraising campaign with the largest component supporting financial aid), the College is committed to providing opportunities to strong and talented students who would otherwise not have access to Hamilton. We never take for granted our ability to meet 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need and are grateful to our dedicated donors who invest in the future of the College, its students, and the transformative education Hamilton provides.
Whether it’s talking with my own nephew or with prospective Hamilton students and families, please know that I am committed to supporting you and continuing our important collaboration. Hamilton’s admission team and I look forward to working with you!
All the best,
T. Peaches Valdes
Dean of Admission