Thoughts on the latest college admission and athletics scandal

A scandal about wealthy people paying for their children to get fake high scores on admissions tests distracts us from the (far more serious but less viscerally wrong) social problem of wealthy people paying for their children to get actual high scores.

— Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene) March 12, 2019

#WednesdayWisdom, today and every day: @ASU will be “measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed.” pic.twitter.com/1j4dOeXo8I

— Arizona State University (@ASU) March 13, 2019

college prep is the worst thing ever

— Olivia Jade (@oliviajadee) August 10, 2016

CW-1 [seems to be the scam’s leader, or at least point person] instructed clients of The Key to seek extended time for their children on college entrance exams if they had not done so already, including by having the children purport to have learning disabilities in order to obtain the medical documentation that ACT, Inc. and the College Board typically require before granting students extended time.

Consider why these parents would even desire to fake their kids’ SAT scores. We can imagine them thinking, I desperately want my child to master mathematics, writing and history — and no one teaches math, writing and history like Yale does! But we all know this is fanciful. People don’t cheat because they want to learn more. They cheat to get a diploma from Yale or Stanford — modernity’s preferred passport to great careers and high society.

Okay, so, who we are– what we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school …. Every year there are– is a group of families, especially where I am right now in the Bay Area, Palo Alto, I just flew in. That they want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don’t want to be messing around with this thing. And so they want in at certain schools. So I did… what I would call, “side doors.” There is a front door which means you get in on your own. The back door is through institutional advancement, which is ten times as much money. And I’ve created this side door in.

Because the back door, when you go through institutional advancement, as you know, everybody’s got a friend of a friend, who knows somebody who knows somebody but there’s no guarantee, they’re just gonna give you a second look. My families want a guarantee. So, if you said to me ‘here’s our grades, here’s our scores, here’s our ability, and we want to go to X school’ and you give me one or two schools, and then I’ll go after those schools and try to get a guarantee done. So that, by the time, the summer of her senior year, before her senior year, hopefully we can have this thing done, so that in the fall, before December 15th, you already knows she’s in. Done. And you make a financial commitment. It depends on what school you want, may determine how much that actually is. But that’s kind of how the the side and back door work.

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