Teachers at our school submit recommendations for students to the counselor for processing to the appropriate colleges. I discovered that our counselor does not mail the questionnaires we fill out, but only the letters themselves, if the counselor believes the forms could be detrimental to the student. Apparently the counselor has some inside information that the admissions offices will accept applications without them, but I wonder whether it is ethical to withhold this information that is explicitly called for on the forms. Should I send mine directly to the colleges?

Surely it’s up to the colleges themselves to determine under what circumstances they will accept applications? And up to them to tell schools that they must forward certain documents or not?

There’s nothing inherently ethical or unethical about accepting applications without some kind of questionnaire, it would only be unethical to knowingly accept forged documents or something similar.

The counselor is right. It is better to send no form than one which is detrimental to one of the school’s own students. It is unethical to say that Bloggs is a top class chemist if this in fact not the case, but there’s nothing wrong in telling a college that they must assess Blogg’s laboratory skills themselves.

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