Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ethics of MBA Admissions

A decade ago life for a b school aspirant was relatively simple. You gave the CAT, CET and XL entrance - then hoped to get in somewhere.

Now, the sheer multitude of entrance exams, procedures, interviews, GDs - simply boggles the mind. Add to that admission deadlines and the ensuing decision dilemmas that candidates face. Because B schools can't follow student-friendly policies.

Some announce their admissions as early as February, others in April. Students who pay up at B schools which close their admissions early end up losing anything from Rs 50,000-100,000 even though they withdraw their applications a full two months before the start of the academic session.

The vacated seats are invariably filled up by wait-listed candidates.

Nilesh Gupta, an FPM student at IIM A decided to take up the matter and blogged about it here. The strange bit is Nilesh is doing this not because he himself lost any money but because he feels justice must be done.

We at JAM too share in Nilesh's concern for the student community and hence teamed up with him to bring out a detailed and exhaustive story of the many students who have faced this 'non-refund' problem. It's a problem that prevails at a multitude of institutes.

JAM has a 2 page feature on 'Ethics of MBA Admission' in its Dec 15 issue which hits stands shortly.

You can also access the article here. Feel free to share your own views and experiences in the comments section.

There will be more updates on this and other admission related issues, in days to come.


  1. On his blog, Nilesh talks of a student who deposited Rs. 1,10,000 for his admission, but upon cancellation only recieved Rs. 10,000 back. That;s a loss of a Lakh!

    I'm really glad people are acting against such injustice. I myself am in the process of giving entrace exams right now, and would hate to be in such a position.

  2. i rather feel that the colleges are justified in the non refund of a certain amount from the fees.., just so cos practically speaking as we see students apply to a number of colleges at a time.. and then take up the luxury of choosing from the options that they make through..
    the admission procedures DO cost the colleges, money wise and of course student wise.. as they sometimes end up losing some brighter students.. who eventually opt for a better college when an option opens up.. so if they have no such regulation in place, a student would go mad hopping from college to college and hence disrupting the whole admission procedures.. the student is not unjustified when he / she does so, but there should be a regulation to the fickle minded state that the students are in when going through the admission procedures..
    hence this fee regulation acts as a deterrent to hold back on such behaviour..

    but again, in a way the sum deducted is unjustified.., an amount tuning to half a lakh or maybe lakh in some cases is totally prepostorous.. something like bracket from 10k to 20k should just be fine to cover up and hold any such irregularities..


  3. Education is big business, what else would you expect


  4. If we take on an avg 1000 bucks for a form with even 10000 applications it works out to Rs.100,00,000, Its 1 crore !!!!

    No college would need 1 crore for just printing of prospectus and forms. The cost of conducting the examinations can easily be borne by this mullah that they have collected while applications.

    Mind you, these are the institutes that teach the students about leadership and ethics. They themselves have to lead by example by not fleecing the students' of their parents' hard earned money.

    At the end of the day, these are educational institutions. If they feel that they dont want mayhems because of students withdrawing, then why do certain institutes have walkin wait lists who get admitted if some students dont show up without intimation on the starting day of the session.

    There are ways and means of controlling a situation and robbing students of the money, that they havent even earned yet, is surely not one of them.

  5. Hey..here's one thing I would like you to write on ... News Anchors..which are the best OR Coming of age of Indian female News Anchors

    Does this sound interesting ?


  6. And the top ones are guilty of fleecing poor students, what with their 1000Rs Plus forms. Add to that TBL costs of exams. And they talk of providing scholarships to meritorious students. but that can happen only if one is lucky enough to get in one of them after spending at least 10000 bucks (conservative estimates!). How does a lower middle class afford that!!... and do think murali MM would have been more apt had he raised entrance fee & refund issues than the semester fees at IIMs.

  7. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Good to see the discussion on something that has been ailing students for such a long time. At least someone is bringing it out in the open. Not that I expect any changes to happen, but at least ther will be no false "We-are-a-non-profit-concern.." hogwash any more.
    This is not the only thing thats not correct in this system. Being an insider for the last 2 years, I can telll you that even the admission process of several TOP B-Schools is at best questionable and at worst highly biased.
    I had once carried an MBA entrance resources on my site www.maloyvilla.com , which was quite popular.. but I discontinued it since I have lost faith in this system.
    Its a pity that any system which becomes popular finds it impossible to stay pure.

  8. Sadly, everything is business and "profit" oriented these days. It is extremely disconcerting when healthcare and education also are treated as profit making ventures.

  9. hmmmm... i was lucky my call wasn't from an IIM so i thought since it was a non-IIM-L anyway, why lose the money... they counselor at career forum was aghast.... Lucky I am doing well today.. lucky my decision that most 2nd rung are similar Anthonysmirror

  10. Seems It is a serious case of Selective Understanding . Its justifying a person who in want of "better things" in life deprive many people of a place which they deserve.
    Priyank Left SCMHRD and he did eat up a place.. I also had a chance to recieve calls from the same place.. Somehow found my call letter from the dusty papers in the drawer.. What was clearly written that u recieve 1 lack once u cancell ur adminssion before 15th March i.e. the day of publishing of last wait list!! Right Rashmi!! Well if someone cancells his/her admission after that he recieves 10000 Rs. and no new admissions are also there on his seat. That clearly results in one seat remaining empty..

    So its rather OK for a person to pay a fine for taking such a high risk.. At least i find so..

  11. Its good to see that the Ex
    B-School students are taking some interest in the way the admissions happen.

    I would be glad if I can see the Names of all IIM's, who follow similar no-refund policies in their admission process, in the PIL which is being planned. Most of the policies which Top B-Schools in India follow are replica of IIM's only.

    I believe B-Schools are right to put no-refund policy as the money is used for activities for students itself who stay on campus for two full years. Unlike IIM's most B-Schools dont get any kind of grants/funds from government to fall back on.

    Eager to listen from the judiciary.


  12. I have started a blog which addresses many such problems related to MBA admissions. My blog publishes the summary of contents discussed in pagalguy forums.


  13. I had information about this sort od discrepancy in the refunds process, but was really amazed at the amount they deduct. It i spainful that these highly reputed and respected institutes can stoop so low. Deducting a part of an aspirants fees is ok, but returning a bare minimum really pains. They should be allowed to deduct the amount that is spent in the counsellings and selection of a candidate. Even the government should step inthis matter and if possible bring a legislation regarding this anomaly.
    Few years back while preparing for engineering i had opted out of Bharati Vidyapeeth in Pune, but the amount deducted was 8 to 10000, that sounded nominal but still it pained.So i understand the plight of aspirants who had to part with a major chunk of their moolah. It is in students interest that such issues should be highlighted so that institutes do not rob the students of their money.

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