Thursday, July 08, 2004

Ethics in the modern age: Some colleges are offering high school guidance counselors not only free, all-expenses paid trips to visit, but tickets to the local symphony, sporting events, and in one case, a little gambling money at the racetrack. Is it a problem?

Both the counselors and the colleges belong to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which prohibits "unprofessional promotional tactics." The policy explicitly bars counselors from accepting "any reward or remuneration" for the direct "placement" of a student at a college. But when it comes to accepting gifts from the institutions the counselors may encourage students to apply to, the rules are silent, leaving most in the industry to use their own judgment.

So, as long as the colleges don't pay recruiting fees for any specific student, no problem at all. Who needs common sense when we have written standards?


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