The “early action” concept is much more common in undergrad admissions in the U.S. Among top business schools, only a small handful have such a thing for MBA admissions. They are: Columbia Early Decision – binding Duke Early Action – binding Tuck Early Action – not binding UNC Early Action – sort of binding? Tuck…
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Good luck on your apps, Brave Supplicant!
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I share your sentiments, EssaySnark. My own experiences have led me to think that these ethical issues may be quite prevalent.
I was admitted to one of “binding” schools you mentioned (not EA.) Two EA admits that I met up with shared that they were considering between attending “binding school”, or attending INSEAD. In my mind, it was clearly a non-choice, so it was surprising to see them still struggling over the decision.
Another shocker that came from that meeting: a lady who was still serving a bond with her firm (firm had paid for her college education) shared that her firm had declined to release her from her bond to obtain an MBA. Despite that knowledge, she applied (not EA), and got accepted. She was in the midst of figuring out how to pay off her bond.
At this point, one could object: she is paying up, so what is the problem? In my mind, she effectively deprived another qualified candidate of the opportunity. She had wasted the firm’s efforts to groom her. (She was assigned here on a very generous expat package.)
It was personally pretty frightening for me.
Yeah, cases where it seems like a victimless crime are often easy to justify. But that doesn’t make it OK! Your point is really important: In the case of that woman with the commitment to her firm, someone else missed out on a chance to participate in the company’s program. So she gains all of the benefits and essentially loses nothing. Even if she pays back the cost of her college education, it does not balance things out. From what you’ve shared, the only reason she’s now in a position to go on and seek further education is because of this program that paid for her original college degree. There could easily be someone else out there in the world who skipped out on college completely because they lost out on this opportunity. It’s not just about the money.
In the case of an Early Decision admit who then ditches it for another school, well, the ED school will go to their waitlist and fill the empty slot, but what if that waitlisted person has paid a deposit at their second-choice school already? Then that person is out the money. Not to mention the anguish and stress of being strung out on the waitlist for so long.
We can’t make the world a perfect place but we can act with honor when making decisions like this. It’s that whole butterfly’s wings thing, right?
Thanks for sharing your experiences, kampongmba – always appreciate your contributions here!