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GSB to review, revise financial aid practices it misrepresented

GSB data leaks affected financial aid data from 2008-2015 (ADAM LEVINE/The Stanford Daily).

Following revelations that the school misrepresented its financial aid policies, the Graduate School of Business (GSB) will seek an external review of its past practices, strive to increase transparency in the upcoming admission cycle and revise its aid guidelines going forward, according to a statement released Thursday by GSB Dean Jonathan Levin.

“It is vital that these fellowship awards are underpinned by a transparent and well-understood process that is forthright about how decisions are made,” Levin wrote.

Incorrect privacy settings on GSB servers, fixed earlier this year, allowed students, staff and faculty members to access data about financial aid awards and fellowships. Analysis performed by Adam Allcock M.B.A. ’18 revealed that the GSB did not adhere to its stated policy of awarding financial aid based solely on need. Gender, immigration status and work experience all influenced grant size, he discovered.

In response to Allcock’s findings, which have made headlines at several news outlets, Levin announced a three part plan to review the GSB’s financial aid process.

“This current award cycle, we will describe our awards clearly and accurately,” Levin said.

Information about GSB financial aid awards for this “transitional” year will appear on the school’s website and in other pertinent resources on financial aid.

Levin also asked the University to review the GSB’s financial aid practices. The University review will additionally compare the GSB’s financial aid policies to those of other business schools.

Finally, Levin said that the GSB would update its financial aid policies. That last initiative is slated to begin in the new year and will include feedback from faculty, students and alumni.

“We will develop a clear statement of Stanford GSB goals and objectives in allocating financial aid, and a clear description of and rationale for the process on which we settle,” Levin wrote.

Kirsten Moss, the assistant dean and director of Admissions and Financial Aid, will oversee the review and coming changes to the GSB’s financial aid policy.

“The explanation for how we award aid has not lived up to the ideals our students and alumni expect of us,” Levin wrote. “Here we fell short and we must do better.”

 

Contact Nicholas Midler at midler ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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