The Jury Talks Back


The College Admissions Indictment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

New York Times:

A teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a star soccer recruit at Yale. Cost to her parents: $1.2 million.

A high school boy eager to enroll at the University of Southern California was falsely deemed to have a learning disability so he could take his standardized test with a complicit proctor who would make sure he got the right score. Cost to his parents: at least $50,000.

A student with no experience rowing won a spot on the U.S.C. crew team after a photograph of another person in a boat was submitted as evidence of her prowess. Her parents wired $200,000 into a special account.

In a major college admissions scandal that laid bare the elaborate lengths some wealthy parents will go to get their children into competitive American universities, federal prosecutors charged 50 people on Tuesday in a brazen scheme to buy spots in the freshman classes at Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools.

Some of these kids were clearly complicit in their parents’ cheating. They should be expelled.

I wonder why the parents didn’t just go the standard route of writing a huge donation check to the school. That’s still legal, right? And it accomplishes the same thing. Maybe it’s harder to do if the parent isn’t an alum, huh?

As a friend emailed (he can identify himself here if he likes):

[W]e’re going to hear a lot in coming days about legacy admissions at … elite schools, and we’ll hear about Jared Kushner at Harvard, Donald Trump and his three children at Penn, and probably various Bush Yalies. What we won’t hear about is whether Malia Obama was really deserving of admittance to Harvard, or whether Chelsea Clinton was truly Stanford Material, or about the Gore and Kennedy families at Harvard.

Sounds about right. And you’ll see the mirror image of that in sites on the right, I suppose (sites read by far fewer people than will read the Big Media pieces described in the quote).

The whole thing is sad, but seems like an inevitable consequence of an increasingly insane scrabbling for overly coveted spots at elite schools. I’m proud to have raised a kid in college who would never dream of such cheating, and who probably would have disowned her parents if we had proposed such a thing.


  1. Who could imagine that UT is an elite school? Californians should be told that a big gift to the University or the football program is a lot easier.

    Comment by DRJ — 3/13/2019 @ 8:32 am

  2. When the number of applications to attend college continue to rise annually schools like UT suddenly find themselves in a buyers market. This sort of corruption is directly caused by our society’s constant lying to HS students that each and every one of them must attend University coupled with easy, meritless Government loans. Even my Alma Mater, TCU, is no longer a destination myself, or my wife could attend today; not just because of the rising cost of education, but because the sheer number of applicants would make our own admissions packet pale by comparison. When 10,000+ students apply for 1,000 spots competition is cut throat, and throw in inequitable admissions policies and diversity quotas and suddenly these sorts of schemes not only seem less shocking, but for many with means start to make sense.

    Comment by Sean — 3/13/2019 @ 11:18 pm

  3. Is this over-indulgent parenting, a creepy fascination with status, an oblivious sense of entitlement, or all of the above? The reality is that a Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, or UT is probably a better value for an undergraduate education anyways. It’s embarrassing to see how far someone is willing to cheat for a status position that they have not earned. Is there no shame?

    Comment by AJ_Liberty — 3/14/2019 @ 5:55 am

  4. We are a TCU family, Sean! Great school.

    Comment by DRJ — 3/14/2019 @ 1:00 pm

  5. DRJ class of ‘99 here (wife and I) Go Frogs!

    Comment by Sean — 3/15/2019 @ 6:51 pm

  6. The Daily Mail reports that Lori Laughlin’s daughter has received a target letter from the DOJ. This comes days after her parents plead not guilty. They should ask Michael Flynn how that worked out.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/17/2019 @ 9:17 am

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