Should we be honest with students?

Other educators worried about a lack of candor when schools offered scholarships to students. A school might offer an attractive three-year scholarship to an applicant, with the seemingly easy condition that the student maintain a B average. The school knew that it tightly controlled curves in first-year courses, so that a predictable number of awardees would fail that condition, but the applicants didn’t understand that. This isn’t just a matter of optimism bias; undergraduates literally do not understand law school curves. A few years ago, one law school hopeful said to me: “What’s the big deal about grade competition in law school? It’s not like there’s a limit on the number of A’s or anything.” When I explained the facts of law school life, she went off to pursue a Ph.D. in botany.