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Buying your way into a prestigious university...
Old 03-18-2019, 05:53 AM   #1
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Buying your way into a prestigious university...

I am not naive but I guess if you asked me 3 months ago is it possible to buy entrance to a big name college? I would answer I suppose but I thought I knew a secret: If your child wasn’t up to the competition no good could come of an admission not deserved. I always thought the one percenters made a huge donation and rules were bent. I was pretty sure it was a rare event. I was more inclined to think real wealth meant prep schools, tutors, essay coaches, unlimited pratice exams and great life experiences: My summers France, Spain and doing volunteer relief work in Katmandu.

When I read about the scandal I was disgusted; America’s promise isn’t success it is equal opportunity. The disenfranchised now rightly have more fodder for their discontent.

Every now and then I am delighted to read stories like some poor kid at Philadelphia Community College who gets straight As and a full ride to the University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League). Bad apples or not the American dream is alive.. right?

The reality is big name school pupils are heavily weighted towards the haves. The reasons are numerous - I was far from that level and frankly lacked the maturity but when your circumstances are such that you are worried about you next meal, shoes or how the old lady is going to pay the couple dollars for the SAT exam your aspiration tend to be modest.

All is not lost -there are a number of brand name schools offering part time graduate degree programs. If you are desperate for a brand name degree it can be done but it will take hard work.

I am a “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone” kind of guy but the spots those parents stole belong to some hard working kids. I am inclined to say “throw the book at all involved an example needs to be made”. The young me would call what they did a mortal sin.

The truth be told the story made me sad..
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:59 AM   #2
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The business school that I went to had employees of the school have their children attend tuition free provided they meet academic requirements and remain in good standing. One kid I knew went to my school while his parent was a janitor at the school.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:05 AM   #3
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Buying one's way into anything, anywhere, any housing development is the American Way. Unfortunately it is a worldwide problem or asset depending on which side of the fence one stands.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #4
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Buying one's way into anything, anywhere, any housing development is the American Way.
What is uniquely American about buying ones way into a housing development? How is it different in other countries?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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What is uniquely American about buying ones way into a housing development? How is it different in other countries?
I never said it was, just another example where money talks. It appears to be the norm in a lot of capitalist countries, legal or otherwise.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:28 AM   #6
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It's the reality we live in and as long as money talks, nothing is going to change that dynamic.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:28 AM   #7
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Nepotism, favoritism, legacy.

leg·a·cy
/ˈleɡəsē/Submit
noun

2.
US
an applicant to a particular college or university who is regarded preferentially because a parent or other relative attended the same institution.
"being a legacy increased a student's chance of being accepted to a highly selective college by up to 45 percent"

Does not surprise me in the least.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:33 AM   #8
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What is uniquely American about buying ones way into a housing development? How is it different in other countries?
One example is when the housing development gets to decide among numerous contractors in who will do the building of the houses. The " lowest" bid doesn't always ring true. You take care of me, we will take care of you....
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:35 AM   #9
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IMO this has been going on in one form or another for 100+ years.

Those in the know--media included--have known about it for years but are now suddenly "shocked!!"

Back in the early 70's we had some real dum-dums in high school who ended up going to X University and everyone knew that their grandfathers had 'made some phone calls' because there was no way in h*ll they could get there otherwise.

Then a few easy courses, four years of drinking, another endowment from Gramps, a few semesters in Europe and...nobody asks your GPA when all they see is that you graduated from the big X University.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:41 AM   #10
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We all know (or should) about legacy admissions, about scholarships going to preferred high schools, about "donations" helping grease the way acceptance. That's the open secret. There's always been a path for money, not a true level playing field ever.

What is most interesting (and worse) than all of that, is these folks couldn't even play by THAT elite sub-set of rules. They had to go full criminal and create side doors instead of backdoors.

Students admitted under these new circumstances weren't even expected to pretend to do well, and didn't even come close to the admittance standards. This was straight up bribery, lies, rico, tax-fraud (the "fixers" ran under a charity). Test scores were faked, photos were shopped to make students qualify as athletes.

I feel most sorry for students who would have been accepted but didn't get in because their places were stolen.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:49 AM   #11
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I read this morning that the daughters of one of the parents that "bought" their entrance to USC plan to not return because they are afraid of being bullied.

That's their reason to not return? It's all about how they would be treated? Not about the dishonesty?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
We all know (or should) about legacy admissions, about scholarships going to preferred high schools, about "donations" helping grease the way acceptance. That's the open secret. There's always been a path for money, not a true level playing field ever.

What is most interesting (and worse) than all of that, is these folks couldn't even play by THAT elite sub-set of rules. They had to go full criminal and create side doors instead of backdoors.

Students admitted under these new circumstances weren't even expected to pretend to do well, and didn't even come close to the admittance standards. This was straight up bribery, lies, rico, tax-fraud (the "fixers" ran under a charity). Test scores were faked, photos were shopped to make students qualify as athletes.

I feel most sorry for students who would have been accepted but didn't get in because their places were stolen.
(Bold highlights by me) The prestigious university fixing reminds me of the steroids era in baseball.

Not only does cheat out students who didn't get accepted because their spots were stolen, but give prestigious universities a black eye. Makes folks think, are their degrees legit or "juiced".
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:07 AM   #13
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...And since when have SATs been hard?
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:10 AM   #14
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Yes, I’ve been totally shocked and blown away by the extent of this scandal!

This goes way beyond the preference due to alumni parents. Bribing coaches. Cheating SATs. Falsehoods on applications.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:19 AM   #15
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Even if the kid is talented enough with his/her grades, recommendations, activities, and can or cannot pay the tuition, the affirmative action quota that is a very sensitive issue falls into play to give the incoming class a more diversified picture of the students. Some kids get in, so do not, based on affirmative action.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:21 AM   #16
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I agree with what has been said. Yes, the worst part of this is what was done to those that didn’t get in who deserved to. But what drives me crazy is the hypocrisy of those involved. While I don’t know these people individually, “Hollywood” has made a point of telling us where our compass should point and here these folks are engaged in this. It also serves as a reminder that one should be very careful about making entertainers and sports figures role models. Some are great people, most are good people, but some are disgusting people and they are not the people they play on tv.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
We all know (or should) about legacy admissions, about scholarships going to preferred high schools, about "donations" helping grease the way acceptance. That's the open secret. There's always been a path for money, not a true level playing field ever.

What is most interesting (and worse) than all of that, is these folks couldn't even play by THAT elite sub-set of rules. They had to go full criminal and create side doors instead of backdoors.

Students admitted under these new circumstances weren't even expected to pretend to do well, and didn't even come close to the admittance standards. This was straight up bribery, lies, rico, tax-fraud (the "fixers" ran under a charity). Test scores were faked, photos were shopped to make students qualify as athletes.

I feel most sorry for students who would have been accepted but didn't get in because their places were stolen.
That was my take on the recent story too. Wealthy folks have been buying admission for their kids forever, but they did it above board. If you pay for a building at your alma mater with your name on it, it’s no surprise your kids will be admitted. The school gets a free building, and all students benefit, so its arguably a win-win?

The folks in the recent FBI case were wealthy people cheating (on the cheap?) behind the scenes - not above board, that is a little different. And claiming a charitable deduction to boot! I hope they’re punished severely, but I doubt they will be. And I have to assume there are many more we don’t know about.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:30 AM   #18
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Huge booster donors to the athletic programs especially at power house D1 schools are also well taken care of. The athletic teams especially the university football teams that generate millions of dollars to the university can get the boosters children admitted even if their grades do not to meet entry requirements.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:33 AM   #19
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That was my take on the recent story too. Wealthy folks have been buying admission for their kids forever, but they did it above board. If you pay for a building at your alma mater with your name on it, it’s no surprise your kids will be admitted. The school gets a free building, and all students benefit, so its arguably a win-win?

The folks in the recent FBI case were wealthy people cheating (on the cheap?) behind the scenes, that is a little different. I have to assume there are many more we don’t know about.
I don't think we can say with any certainty that there wasn't cheating in the past. In fact, I would hazard a guess it used to be much easier to have someone take the SAT for you and/or change grades then it is now. Rich people have always bought their way into schools and, I suspect, people have long been cheating to get into schools too. Just a guess.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:35 AM   #20
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I don't think we can say with any certainty that there wasn't cheating in the past. In fact, I would hazard a guess it used to be much easier to have someone take the SAT for you and/or change grades then it is now. Rich people have always bought their way into schools and, I suspect, people have long been cheating to get into schools too. Just a guess.
Since you quoted me - where did I say there wasn’t cheating in the past, I’m sure there was?
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