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Crafting a Class:
College Admissions and Financial Aid, 1955-1994
Elizabeth A. Duffy & Idana Goldberg

Paperback | 2014 | $46.00 | £38.95 | ISBN: 9780691603551
Hardcover | 2016 | $115.00 | £95.95 | ISBN: 9780691632865
322 pp. | 6 x 9 | 35 line illus. 4 tables
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Admissions and financial aid policies at liberal arts colleges have changed dramatically since 1955. Through the 1950s, most colleges in the United States enrolled fewer than 1000 students, nearly all of whom were white. Few colleges were truly selective in their admissions; they accepted most students who applied. In the 1960s, as the children of the baby boom reached college age and both federal and institutional financial aid programs expanded, many more students began to apply to college. For the first time, liberal arts colleges were faced with an abundance of applicants, which raised new questions. What criteria would they use to select students? How would they award financial aid? The answers to these questions were shaped by financial and educational considerations as well as by the struggles for civil rights and gender equality that swept across the nation. The colleges' answers also proved crucial to their futures, as the years since the mid-1970s have shown. When the influx of baby boom students slowed, colleges began to recruit aggressively in order to maintain their class sizes. In the past decade, financial aid has become another tool that colleges use to compete for the best students.

By tracing the development of competitive admission and financial aid policies at a selected group of liberal arts colleges, Crafting a Class explores how institutional decisions reflect and respond to broad demographic, economic, political, and social forces. Elizabeth Duffy and Idana Goldberg closely studied sixteen liberal arts colleges in Massachusetts and Ohio. At each college, they not only collected empirical data on admissions, enrollment, and financial aid trends, but they also examined archival materials and interviewed current and former administrators. Duffy and Goldberg have produced an authoritative and highly readable account of some of the most important changes that have taken place in American higher education during the tumultuous decades since the mid-1950s. Crafting a Class will interest all readers who are concerned with the past and future directions of higher education in the United States.

Originally published in 1997.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


"An excellent, interesting, well-written book.... It is a significant contribution to the history of higher education, and in particular, to the history of liberal arts colleges."--David W. Breneman, University of Virginia

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables
Pt. I Enrollment, Admissions, and Quality 1
Ch. 1 Enrollment Pressures: Ebbs and Flows 3
Ch. 2 The Admissions Process 34
Ch. 3 Student Quality 76
Pt. II Responses to Social Forces 103
Ch. 4 The Coeducation Movement 105
Ch. 5 Minority Recruitment 137
Pt. III The Evolution of Financial Aid 167
Ch. 6 The Development of Need-Based Aid 169
Ch. 7 The Growth of Merit Aid 205
Conclusion 228
Notes 233
App. A Survey Forms 267
App. B Interviews 273
Bibliography 277
Index 286


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File created: 7/11/2017

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