Fall Steps
February 20, 2019

On merit alone

Securing the future of need-blind admission

Anthony Minickiello ’20 will never forget walking across the Andover campus on a warm late summer afternoon. He had moved in early to French House and was meeting with his cross-country team for the first time.

“I realized that there was no one else in sight,” says Anthony, who hails from Swanzey, N.H. “For a few seconds I stopped walking, overcome by the magnitude of the place. The brick buildings, the Great Lawn rolling and green before me, the Bell Tower.

“I began to grasp the tradition that Andover represents, and I realized that I was now part of it. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life.”

It was a defining moment as well—and as for many other students, it wouldn’t have occurred without financial aid. Anthony, like 47 percent of his classmates, receives a scholarship grant.

The Academy’s investment in this vital priority is significant, with total financial assistance rising to nearly $24 million this academic year. This level of support ensures that Andover remains the only boarding school in the nation to offer need-blind admission—enabling the Academy to accept the world’s most promising students, regardless of their families’ ability to afford tuition.

My scholarship means that I’m able to pursue a challenging educational path that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Anthony Minickiello '20 Phelps Scholar

During the Knowledge & Goodness campaign, Andover aims to endow 80 percent of its student aid program, a considerable jump from the current level of approximately 60 percent. Meeting that ambitious goal will help guarantee need-blind admission in perpetuity.

The Academy aspired to need-blind admission in the 1960s and 1980s, but the efforts proved financially unsustainable. As the cost of an Andover education rises, the current policy could be placed in jeopardy without the proper funding.

Donors like Sean Flanagan ’84, P’21, are working to safeguard the Academy’s distinctive commitment for future generations. “Need-blind admission changes the trajectory of families’ lives,” says Flanagan, who recently established an endowed scholarship. “We wanted to pave the way for one very deserving student to attend Andover, and for that to happen each and every year.”

Flanagan views such financial aid gifts as “intrinsically tied” to the school’s non sibi values: “Andover has an impressive reputation, but with that comes a big responsibility. Need-blind admission is the Academy’s way of walking the walk. We must guarantee that any talented student can apply to Andover and then attend based on their merits alone.”

More than 20 new scholarships have been established since the launch of Knowledge & Goodness. Over 3,750 Andover alumni, parents, faculty, and staff have made gifts of all sizes to financial aid as well.

Numbers & Notes

  • 12 Consecutive years of need-blind admission
  • 47% Students who rely on financial assistance
  • $40,800 Average grant for returning students
  • 530 Endowed scholarship funds
  • 0 Loans issued by Andover

While need-blind admission becomes more secure with each additional endowed scholarship, there will always be the need for annual donors to close the financial aid funding gap that exists every year.

Sandra Sanchez ’00 is one such loyal supporter. She’s a past scholarship recipient herself and has given to student aid each of the past four years. “I donate because my scholarship meant so much to me and because I want to help other students get the same chance to attend Andover,” says Sanchez. “Every annual gift helps. It all adds up to something much greater.”

There is also an exponential impact to this generosity that extends well beyond Andover. “In the coming decades these students will graduate and contribute to our society in unbelievable ways,” explains Flanagan. “The lives we touch at the Academy will in turn touch so many others. We are building the foundation of something very special here.”

For students like Anthony Minickiello, that journey is just beginning. “My scholarship means that I’m able to pursue a challenging educational path that wouldn’t be possible otherwise,” he says. “The depth of my gratitude is difficult to articulate. But I understand the responsibility inherent in the Andover experience—to use this gift to help others.”

Make a difference at www.andover.edu/needblind. Or contact Nicole Cherubini, director of development, at 978-749-4288 or [email protected].

Categories: Campaign News

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