The Ethical Implications of Using Freshman Financial Aid as a Recruitment Tool without Subsequent Inflationary Adjustments
Eric A. Sartell

With competition for prospective students increasing among America’s private colleges and universities, more and more institutions are turning to financial aid awards as a recruitment tool. Often these awards are proportionately larger for incoming freshman and subsequently capped for the remaining years of schooling with no adjustment for inflation. This paper seeks to determine the ethical implications of this practice utilizing three well established ethical models: Potter’s Box, Stakeholder Theory, and Contract Theory. While the institutions defend the practice and meet legal disclosure obligations, ethical conflicts are identified and aspects of the financial aid award policy are found to be unethical.

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