Need-aware policy shocks critics

Steve Kerby

In an astonishing turn of events, the controversial need-aware policy enacted by the administration of Case Western Reserve University has been met with widespread approval. Erstwhile critics of the policy stopped shouting at a press conference on Oct. 27, shocked as several new details of the policy were unveiled. During a presentation by Undergraduate Admissions, several administrators revealed mandatory plans for future classes. Even the most vocal opponents of the policy sat wide-eyed at the administration’s astonishing pledges for several minutes, before the entire room broke into torrents of applause.

A common critique of the need-aware policy was that the 10 percent of spots with financial status considered would fall to wealthy students, decreasing economic diversity on campus. The administration promised at the press conference that all of the need-aware spots would go to low-income students; the budget would be kept in balance by introducing a new “flexi-pay” plan for students who finish their careers in debt. Options in the new “Flexi-pay” plan include work in heavy metal mines, indentured servitude and a debtor’s prison in the derelict chemistry building. The applause of former detractors of the policy died down before another whopper was delivered.

Opponents of the policy had also been fearful of a decrease in social and racial diversity, such as several other universities have experienced after going need-aware, but the next slide in the presentation quickly put their unease to rest. The administration revealed a massive computer that can track prospective students from birth with vaccine-riding microtracers that select desirable students in their infancy. The computer program will carefully balance the diversity of each class to create a “Microcosm of America.” Each microtracer, no bigger than a few skin cells, can judge each prospie’s age, gender, economic wealth, race, religion, blood type and intelligence before determining whether to suggest that student for enrollment. Undergraduate Admissions was not done, though; one more surprise waited in the wings for the stunned crowd.

Finally, a new set of metrics for evaluating diversity on campus was unveiled, radically changing how the student body is judged. Starting in 2018, the financial assets of each family will be measured in 2004 Zimbabwe Dollars, meaning that even a poverty-line family will have a worth of several hundred million “Babs Dollars.”  Race will allow three options: “Human,” “Lizard Person,” and “Betelgeusian.” Because the makeup of the United States is 99.99999977% Human (plus or minus one M. Shkreli), a near perfect match with national demographics is anticipated. Finally, the administration will set aside several hundred admissions spots for underrepresented minorities such as “Relatives of Administrators,” “Descendants of the Veale Family” and “Progeny of Politicians.”

The audience—largely consisting of white, cisgender affluent men—gave the speech a standing ovation. President Barbara R. Snyder closed the discussion by thanking all present for their time and consideration, noting that, “I can’t wait to welcome the wealthy parents of all our potential students to a private dinner at my second mansion.”

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