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New Rules

Back in late 2019, I shared a NY Times article and wrote a post about an important Department of Justice ruling that impacted standards and ethics set by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. In April 2020, I posted a Forbes article about the movement of deadline dates. This, too, was influenced by the DOJ ruling.

By then, everyone's attention was diverted to the issue of virtual instruction, and the graduating class of 2020 did not seem to experience much fallout from the ruling. But already, days after May 1st, colleges are taking advantage of their new right to compete for students. Yesterday, a dismayed colleague posted in our Independent Education Consultants Facebook Page that her student, who had already notified X University that she had committed to another college, received this letter:

Greetings from XXX!

Congratulations on your student’s admission to XXX University! I am pleased to inform you that they are being awarded an annual XXX Distinction Award in the amount of $20,000.

This scholarship recognizes their achievements and leadership experience in high school, as well as our confidence that they will make an impact at XXX University and beyond.

Your student can view the award in their XXXportal, along with the Admissions Acceptance Form (AAF) to commit to XXX University. Since it is past the May 1 deadline, we continue to consider students on a space available basis. We ask that your student respond as soon as possible and no later than May 7 by completing the AAF.

As soon as they have made their decision to enroll at XXX, I encourage them to complete their AAF so that they can then apply for housing, gain access to the XXX website and receive information about orientation.

If we can assist you or your student, please contact us at _________.You may also contact your student’s admissions representative. Congratulations on this achievement!


______________, Ph.D.

Dean of Admissions

Previously, this offer would have been illegal and unethical: in fact, the National Association of College Admissions Counselors’ Code of Ethics was challenged in order for this competition between colleges to be allowed.

Some consultants believe it’s just business. After all, another student turned down an offer for that merit aid at the last minute, so the university has every right to offer it to another student. A family might feel that they were offered a great deal. Since the well-being of students and families is my priority, I disagree with the ruling because of the breach of ethics and the stress that creates.

Here are links to the articles. What do you think?

Please let me know if your students receive offers from colleges after they have withdrawn their applications from them.


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