College rejects applicants for lying

Roller, Julia

Applicants to the Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania can expect a vigorous screening process.

BERKELEY, Calif.-The Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley rejected five applicants for admission after finding they’d lied on their applications.

One candidate forged a letter of recommendation and lied about promotions received; the others fibbed about how long they’d been out of work. All five would’ve been admitted if they’d told the truth, says Jett Pihakis, director of domestic admissions at Haas.

This is the first year the school has run full background checks on students selected for admission, but after last year’s corporate scandals, business schools have a new commitment to ethics.

The Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania is charging applicants a $35 fee to have an outside firm fact-check their applications. “We wanted to warn the market, ‘Don’t apply to us if you plan to fudge your application,'” says Rosemaria Martinelli, Wharton director of MBA admissions. “What I hope to do. . . is to show that integrity is the most important thing.”

Sources: The Daily Californian, Business Week,

Do you think business schools should fact-check all applications? Why or why not? How would you feel about being required to pay a $35 fact-checking fee with your application? Explain. Do candidates who lied about the number of months they were out of work deserve to be rejected? Why or why not?

Do you agree with Martinelli that integrity is the most important characteristic in a business school applicant? If schools choose to fact-check all applications, do you think they should make this known in advance or conceal it-so their chances of weeding out dishonest applicants would be increased? Do you think that an applicant who lies on his or her application is more likely to lie about other, more important matters? Explain.

Do you think it’s more crucial for prestigious business schools, such as Haas and Wharton, to promote honesty among their students because they’re more likely to wield a large amount of influence and power? Do you think our lies have more serious repercussions as we grow older and have more responsibility? Why or why not?

Scripture links: 1 Kings 22:22-23; Proverbs 6:16-19; 12:19, 22; 17:7; 21:6; John 8:44; 1 Peter 3:10; and Revelation 21:8.

Copyright Group Publishing, Inc. Jul/Aug 2003

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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