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Financial strain may hurt academic reputation

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, February 15, 2009

I was glad to see Father Jenkins’ statement that Notre Dame’s financial situation is manageable for the present time. However, I believe he is missing out on the other half of this issue with the current economic downturn. I am concerned with a drop in Notre Dame’s academic reputation because a lot of accepted kids are not going to be able to afford Notre Dame this year. The “EFC” is still going to be too risky for families worrying if the parents will have a job. You can see that by the recent statement of the University of Michigan’s President “welcoming back” private university (she used Dartmouth as an example) transfers back to Michigan if they had been accepted previously. This is a good example of poaching by the top state schools, thus increasing their academic status.

I think Father Jenkins needs to lead an effort by Notre Dame to help families manage this uncertainty, or Notre Dame will see increased loss of the upper middle class kids that have been accepted (and have been told to pay the $50K/yr) and have been told by their parents they cannot attend Notre Dame because of their parents’ job uncertainty. Notre Dame’s drive toward a preeminent research university will be undercut if the admissions’ yield rate goes substantially down for the Class of 2013 and they accept less qualified students.

Paul Kane


class of 1980

Feb. 12