Quantcast
Connect with us

US college bribery scandal grates on those who missed the cut

Published

on

The U.S. college bribery scandal has unleashed angst and fury among parents, students and admissions experts, as an unprecedented criminal investigation draws attention to the privileges afforded to wealthy Americans.

Hollywood actors and business executives are among 50 people charged with taking part in the largest college admissions scandal in U.S. history, which involved getting students into elite, highly selective universities by paying bribes and cheating the admissions process.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ordinary Americans were not amused.

“I’ve worked my butt off for four years trying to make myself seem really presentable, studying two hours a week for the SAT (entrance exam) and getting all As in my classes,” said Connor Finn, 18, a senior at John Marshall High school in Los Angeles. “And then the fact that people would just pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and without the hard work is really not rewarding at all,” he said.

Finn’s father, Michael, said the teenager applied to a dozen universities, including University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where the daughter of one couple charged in the scandal was enrolled. Connor is still waiting for a response, his father said.

Dan Raffety, a college counselor at the Elgin Academy prep school near Chicago, said he had a student with superb grades, perfect entrance exam scores and a resume full of extracurricular activities who was denied entry at Georgetown.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said he was angered to think academically deserving students may have lost a spot to cheaters.

ACCESS TO POWER
Besides academic excellence, elite schools offer access for their graduates to a network of people in power.

“At some point this isn’t really about education. This is about trying to get access,” Rafferty said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Many elite universities give preference to “legacy” applicants: the children of those who previously attended. In other cases, major financial gifts, including multimillion-dollar donations to construct buildings on campus, pave the way for the privileged. Both practices are legal.

The competition can be fierce and seem unfair even to people of privilege, however.

One wealthy Massachusetts parent said his son had excellent credentials but still was denied entry to Ivy League Brown University, even after the family spent thousands of dollars for a tutor to improve the boy’s entrance exam scores.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, he said students whom he considered lesser academic talents gained an advantage by going to private prep schools, whose business model is to get students into elite universities.

“It’s a booming business because parents are the ripest target in the world. They’ll pay and do anything for their kids. And this (scandal) is an example of things gone awry,” said the father, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak freely.

His son chose to stay in public school and ended up at Tufts University, a highly rated school that nonetheless lacks Ivy League cachet.

ADVERTISEMENT

LOOKING FOR DIVERSITY, TOO
The top universities have such an excess of qualified applicants they could limit their candidates to the best students with perfect entrance exam scores, admissions experts say.

They are also looking for diversity, accepting high achieving poor and minority students who cannot afford tutors and coaches.

“This scandal, most people would agree, is ridiculous,” said Natasha Kumar Warikoo, a graduate professor of education at Harvard and author of “The Diversity Bargain,” which examines how students at elite universities view affirmative action.

“But beyond that we don’t have a consensus in the United States about what fair is,” she added.

ADVERTISEMENT

UCLA student Sandy Situ, 21, the daughter of immigrants, said the scandal had made her think about the uphill battle for those who are unable to attend the schools of their choice.

“I think about the resources that were taken away from them, the chances that they could have achieved something better, all the people who were turned away for people who could just pay their way in,” Situ said. “What a sad moment this is for America.”

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Rollo Ross; editing by Bill Tarrant and Rosalba O’Brien


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Possible war in the Middle East’: Editor explains why Trump’s visa attack on Iran is ‘lame’ response to oil field bombing

Published

on

As the United States is searching for ways to draw down on decades-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, serious conflicts might be afoot, one Daily Beast reporter told MSNBC Sunday.

World News editor Christopher Dickey told host Kendis Gibson he doesn't understand the point of barring Iranian diplomats from being able to come to the United Nations General Assembly meeting this fall. During a "Meet the Press" interview Sunday morning, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that the U.S. should deny the visas. The statement prompted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to call her out for "warmongering," and said she was out of touch with Americans who don't want to get into another costly Middle East war.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

Published

on

Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘Please give me the audacity of a mediocre white man’: Editor unleashes on Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Published

on

Managing Editor Tiffany Cross, who co-founded The Beat DC, unleashed on the most recent Supreme Court Justice to be outed for sexual misconduct.

Max Stier, a classmate of Justice Brett Kavanaugh came out with another story of the justice forcing his naked penis into the hand of a woman. The FBI was supposed to do a full investigation into Kavanaugh, and Stier gave them the information. Somehow, however, the investigation either wasn't completed, wasn't revealed or was ignored, because none of the information revealed was released.

Cross said that there are some who normally would have said, "man if only we knew about these allegations during the confirmation hearing." The problem, of course, is that it was known, Cross explained. It was simply ignored by Republicans in the majority. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is an excellent example of a pro-choice, pro-woman senator who claimed she trusted Kavanaugh. She's suffered the consequences from her home-state in wake of the vote. In the past four years, she has dropped from being the most favored senator in the country to among the least.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image