Initiative to Improve Stanford GSB’s Financial Aid Process

Assistant Dean Kirsten Moss writes to the Stanford GSB community describing efforts to improve the financial aid process.

January 24, 2018

As you’re aware from Dean Levin’s note last month, I am leading several near- and long-term processes to improve the way Stanford GSB provides information about, and awards, financial aid. While I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many students and alumni about this in the past few months, it’s important that you are aware of our progress and have the opportunity to contribute.

We’ve just completed our first round of admissions decisions and are welcoming members of the Class of 2020 to our community. We want to make sure that these incoming students have a clear understanding of how we will award financial aid during this time of transition. For students matriculating in the fall of 2018, we are awarding fellowships solely on the basis of financial need, and all of our financial aid materials reflect this policy. In selecting and enrolling the Class of 2020, we remain committed to attracting a diverse student body who can bring a wide range of ideas and perspectives to our community.

Building on the key actions Dean Levin shared last month, we’ve begun a three-phased initiative to improve the financial aid process for future classes. These phases include:

  • Discovery: Collaborate and gather input from students, alumni, faculty, staff, and third-party experts in higher education and financial aid to fully understand the opportunities for improvement, as well as review the MBA financial aid landscape.
  • Design: Develop a clear statement of goals and objectives for allocating financial aid, as well as justification for the process. This process will align financial aid with the values of our institution, needs of our students, and realities of the marketplace.
  • Implementation: Communicate our new process to the community, and build the necessary systems to support it.

Phase one is already underway, and I’ve been encouraged by our progress thus far. We are working in partnership with the Student Association to identify the best processes to solicit student feedback and recommendations. We are appointing an advisory group, composed of faculty and alumni, who will provide input during the discovery and design phases. We are interviewing candidates for a new full-time role that will work directly with me to manage the multiple work streams required for this project. I am also establishing weekly office hours, beginning in February, for students who wish to discuss their experiences or perspectives on this issue.

As Dean Levin has mentioned, it is vital that Stanford GSB fellowship awards are underpinned by a transparent and well-understood process that treats students fairly. I recognize that we have failed to do this and am fully committed to leading this initiative to ensure we meet this goal moving forward. Over the next few months, my objective is to earn your trust by facilitating an open and inclusive dialogue. I look forward to working together with all of you to address this critical issue for Stanford GSB and make our community even stronger.


Kirsten Moss
Assistant Dean, MBA Admissions and Financial Aid

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