On Monday, the Coalition for International Students’ Financial Aid released a petition calling on the University to prioritize need-blind admissions for international applicants. The petition, which garnered over 900 signatures in two days, aims to push this initiative forward in light of Stanford’s long-range planning efforts.
In 2002, William Kamkwamba used bicycle parts, blue gum tree and scraps to build a windmill in his village in Malawi. Only fifteen, William nevertheless managed to use the windmill to power several electrical appliances in his village. What is striking is that despite William’s lack of money, if William had applied to Stanford he would have been ineligible for financial aid. Despite our $18 billion endowment, we still do not provide financial aid to international students, even though other top-tier universities such as Harvard do. It is genuinely surprising that despite the fact that Stanford has yet to open itself up to financing opportunities for international students without Social Security numbers.
We see them in our classrooms and cultural shows, in our labs and on our sports teams. They are often distinguished by a strange accent, a distinct garb, a new perspective in a classroom discussion, or even by a modest “eh” at the end of a sentence. Stanford’s international undergraduate students add inestimably to campus culture, talent and diversity.
Today marks the beginning of classes for the 2010-2011 academic year. Today is the formal intellectual dawn for a brand new crop of Cardinal faithful, as well as the start of what will be the final hurrah for an enlivened and vivacious senior class. But the whir of wheels, the anxious excitement punctuating the Quad…