Scoretop Penalties: What the Schools Have to Say

The scandal continues to shake up B-school students and applicants alike. BusinessWeek conducted a survey of the top-ranked full-time MBA programs last week and found that many admissions officials are not ruling out harsh sanctions for current students, applicants, and even graduates.

Despite the scandal, BusinessWeek says officials generally endorse the overall validity of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and indicated they have no immediate plans to change admissions procedures because of the incident.

Here’s what various admissions directors have to say on the subject:

Rod Garcia, admissions director at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, says the school hadn’t received any information from GMAC about any specific students. But he says conclusions regarding any student depend on the scope of his or her activities on the Scoretop site.

“There needs to be a distinction between whether he or she posted a question or just visited the Web site,” Garcia says. As for penalties, he says: “We would consider kicking current students out, or rescinding admission offers. For alumni, we would definitely consider revoking degrees. In our business, it’s something that we are prepared to do, because there could be similar situations in the future.”

Mae Jennifer Shores, admissions director at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, says the school is “in a holding pattern until we have actual evidence that someone has cheated,” adding the school would consider a number of options if any names of applicants or current students surface in the probe. “We could prevent them from being admitted if they’re prospective students. Another option for current students would be to prevent them from graduating. I’m not sure what we’d do about alumni.”

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business spokesman Chris Privett said via e-mail: “In the event that we learn of individuals who have violated the GMAC testing policies, the penalty would be consistent with that which would apply to anyone who has lied or cheated to gain an advantage either in the admission process or as a student at Fuqua.” Those penalties “range from suspension to expulsion to revocation of a degree, depending on the infraction,” he added.

“We wouldn’t enroll someone who had knowingly cheated, but at this point, it’s difficult to pinpoint who’s guilty and who’s not, so we’re leaving it up to the officials and the legal team at GMAC,” says David Hofmann, associate dean for University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

As you can see, the responses vary from hardline to more nuanced. Click here for even more school reactions.


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