The Associated Press and Boston Globe

Expert: Applicants don’t deserve rejection

Associated Press

Business school applicants who peeked into their school’s Web site to see if they had been accepted may have made a stupid mistake, but not one worthy of rejection, a college-prep coach said.

Sanford Kreisberg of Cambridge Essay Service, which helps students apply to elite U.S. business schools, accused one of the schools, Harvard, of “ethics grandstanding.”

He was responding to Harvard’s decision Monday to reject 119 applicants for following a hacker’s instructions and visiting the school’s admissions site for an early glimpse at decisions. MIT followed suit Tuesday, rejecting 32 applicants, while Carnegie Mellon made a similar decision last week.

While the business world is getting battered by stories of ethical failures – such as fraud or excessive salaries – Harvard can make an ethics point by taking on an easy target instead of a more powerful constituency, Kreisberg said Tuesday.

“They can swat it hard and preen,” he said.


Dartmouth biz school says applicants were judged case-by-case

Associated Press Writer
Mar 17, 2005

CONCORD, N.H. Applicants to Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business who tried to get unauthorized early looks at admissions decisions were judged case-by-case, and an undisclosed number were admitted, a dean said Thursday.

Tuck will monitor those who were accepted, and those who were rejected can reapply, Dean Paul Danos said in a telephone interview from Hanover.

Tuck’s decision won immediate praise from Sanford Kreisberg of Cambridge Essay Service, which helps students apply to business schools.

“Bravo,” he said. “It shows real leadership; it’s not involved in silly ethics grandstanding.”


Applicants’ behavior ‘unethical at best’

By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff | March 8, 2005

Harvard Business School will reject the 119 applicants who hacked into the school’s admissions site last week, the school’s dean, Kim B. Clark, said yesterday.

”This behavior is unethical at best — a serious breach of trust that can not be countered by rationalization,” Clark said in a statement. ”Any applicant found to have done so will not be admitted to this school.”

A half dozen business schools were swamped by a wave of electronic intrusions Wednesday morning, after a computer hacker posted instructions on a BusinessWeek Online message board. Harvard is the second school to say definitively that it will deny the applications of proven hackers. The first was Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, where only one admission file was targeted.
. . . .

Clark, who said Harvard was working with ApplyYourself to determine the hackers’ identifies, rejected that distinction. ”We expect our applicants to be personally responsible for the access to the website, and for the identification and passwords they received,” he said.

One admissions consultant, Sanford Kreisberg of Cambridge Essay Service, which helps students apply to elite US business schools, said he thought Harvard was overreacting.

”What they did was stupid, but that’s all it was,” Kreisberg said. ”This seems needlessly harsh and rigid. I think it’s inflexible, and it’s wrong, and it doesn’t treat individual circumstances.”

Kreisberg said some applicants may had inadvertently tried to access the files, without realizing they were looking for confidential information, after they were e-mailed directions from other students who had copied them from the BusinessWeek message board.