March 30, 2013


Nora Pandolfo-Steiner

East Maple St.

New Paltz, NY 12561


Dear Ms. Pandolfo-Steiner,

The admissions committee has met and I am sorry to inform you that you are too poor to attend Wesleyan University this year. We received a record applicant pool of over nine thousand financially qualified applicants and we were only able to admit a limited number of students in need of financial assistance.

We realize you may be disappointed by this decision, but please understand that it in no way reflects your strength as an applicant, beyond your comparative financial disadvantage. Our “need-aware” admissions policy at Wesleyan does discriminate on the basis of socio-economic status, and we regret to inform you that your socio-economic status is not of the caliber that we are interested in at the current time. As data from our class of 2017 demonstrate, Wesleyan is just not as concerned with economic, racial, and geographic diversity as we used to be. From the class of 2016 to the class of 2017, the number of students receiving financial aid decreased from 48 percent to 42 percent, the number of students receiving grant aid decreased from 44 percent to 37 percent, the number of first-generation four-year college students decreased from 16 percent to 13 percent, the number of black students decreased from 11 percent to 8 percent, while the number of students from New England increased from 17 percent to 22 percent and the numbers of students from all other geographic areas in the US dropped or remained flat.

Please know that the vast majority of our applicants are superbly qualified and would be fully capable of doing successful work and making a unique contribution to the Wesleyan community. I’d like to personally encourage you to reapply to Wesleyan in the case that your salary, or that of your immediate family, increases significantly. We wish you well in finding an institution of higher learning with the ethical priorities that will allow you to pursue your education.



Michael Roth, President

Joshua Boger, Chair of the Board


Krugman is a member of the class of 2014. Bieder is a member of the class of 2015.


This is the first part of a two-part Wespeak. You can find the second part here:

Comments are closed