Colleges and universities around the country are facing budget shortfalls so steep they could change the way they do business forever, the New York Times reports. With endowments shriveling, state financing being slashed, the cost of debt rising, and donors scaling back, both public and private institutions are cutting staff, postponing construction projects, pulling back financial aid, and raising tuition.
Ambitious plans to make institutions "need-blind"—choosing the best-qualified students regardless of their financial status—are likely to fall by the wayside, just at the time they are most needed. "The target of being need-blind is our highest priority," said the president of Tufts University. "But with what’s happening in the larger economy, we expect that the incoming class is going to be needier. That’s the real uncertainty."