Times are tough for college admissions offices across the country. At a time when Williams College, for instance, decided to change its policy on financial aid for foreign students and reinstitute student loans, Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, has decided to be more generous with financial aid. According to an article by Jacques Steinberg in the New York Times:

Hamilton… is announcing that it is adopting a need-blind admissions policy. In doing so, it joins a handful of other colleges and universities… that pledge to consider applicants regardless of their ability to pay.

In rescinding a “need-aware” or “need-sensitive” admissions policy — previously some students were admitted partly because they required no financial aid, and others were rejected because they did — Hamilton expects over the next four years to add about $2 million to its annual financial aid budget, which is about $24.6 million this year.

At first the added expense of the new policy will be taken care of by the college’s trustees. Six members of Hamilton’s board of trustees and have committed $500,000 of their own money to fund the program.

Hamilton says that before it adopted the need-blind policy, it was “need-blind in its admission decisions for about 95 percent of the domestic applicants to each class.”

The new policy does not apply to transfer students or international applicants.

Total tuition, room, and board at Hamilton College was $49,860 for the 2009-10 school year.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer