Economics 321

Assignment #2: Admission Dean for a Day

Due: Wednesday, October 5

In this assignment, you are the acting Dean of Admission (and acting Director of Financial Aid) at Reed College. Your admission staff has culled out the obviously unsuitable applications and is forwarding to you 50 applications for a final admission decision, each of which has been recommended for admission by at least one staff member.

Your target is to enroll 12 students out of these 50. Some of the students that you admit will choose to come to Reed; others will choose not to. [Hint: If you admit everyone, you will probably have 20 or so enroll, but different applicants have different enrollment probabilities.] You have $200,000 in financial-aid money to spend on their first-year expenses. For this assignment, we will not distinguish among different kinds of aid such as grants, loans, and self-help; if the student's need is $20,000, then that student costs you $20,000 out of your budget. (All numbers are rounded off to keep the arithmetic simple.)

After considering each application carefully, you are to arrive at a decision to admit or deny admission to the student. (Sorry, you don't get a wait list!) If the student has financial need, you will need to meet his or her need. You might want to develop a priority list by assigning something like reader ratings to each student as you go through the applications, then go back and see how far down the list you have to go.

Your performance will be graded on your success in meeting your admission target, staying within the financial-aid budget, and attracting a high-quality first-year class.

Summaries of the students' applications are available in pdf form. Some of this summary information is also included on a spreadsheet that you are to use to record your decisions. Fill in the green cells on the spreadsheet with Yes or No for admission and dollar amount as appropriate for aid. Save it with a file name that includes your last name and email it to Jeff before class begins on Wednesday, October 5.

Of course, there is uncertainty about who will attend if offered admission. This uncertainty will be resolved and the results of your admission and aid decisions will be revealed in next week's class, where the decisions and outcomes of class members will be compared and discussed.