Stanford’s elite business school caught cheating

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Stanford’s elite business school caught cheating — by one of its own MBA students

“Given that it costs $140,000 in tuition alone for a Stanford business school MBA degree, it’s not surprising that half the students receive fellowship grants.

And the school has for years been touting its egalitarian generosity, making it clear that the grants go to those who might otherwise be unable to attend, or who might be forced — against school recommendations — to work part-time during the MBA program.

‘All fellowships are need-based,’ says promotional material from the Graduate School of Business. ‘It’s important to understand that we do not negotiate fellowship amounts or eligibility.’

But now, thanks to a huge breach of students’ personal financial data, the school has been caught cheating — by one of its own. In February, MBA student Adam Allcock discovered 14 terabytes of confidential student data from financial aid applications, according to a new report. Later that month, Allcock reported the breach to the school’s financial aid director, and the records were removed within an hour, the report said.

However, Allcock had dug deeply into the data, spending 1,500 hours analyzing it and putting together a 378-page report, according to Poets&Quants, a website covering business school news.

Allcock’s c0nclusion? The Graduate School of Business has not been honest with students, in fact has been ‘lying to their faces’ for more than a decade. Rather than being need-based, the fellowship grants were used to rank students according to their value to the school, Allcock determined.

‘Allcock found that Stanford had routinely granted fellowship money to students without regard to their financial needs, often favoring admits who were female and those from the financial sector, even though many had more savings than students who received no scholarship help or less financial support,’ Poets&Quants reported. …

The focus on students with backgrounds in finance ‘suggests an admissions strategy that helps the school achieve the highest starting compensation packages of any MBA program in the world,’ Byrne wrote. ‘Last year the median pay for the 12 percent of the students that went into private equity was a class-high $177,500, well above the overall median of $136,000.’ …

The school’s dean, Jon Levin, admitted in a message to students that the bits in the school’s promotional materials about not negotiating fellowship amounts or eligibility, and that all fellowship grants were need based, were not exactly true. … The difference between what the school says it does and what it was caught doing is ‘an issue we intend to address,’ Levin wrote.”



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