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14-03-2019, 14:18   #31
Realt Dearg Sec
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I'm teaching in an American university and I think the reason so many people on here are mainly only shocked that it's illegal to do what these people do, is because the legal paths to an elite university for the rich and powerful are barely distinguishable from what these people did.

When Jared Kushner was in high school he was described as, at best, an average student. The year before he went to college his father donated millions to Harvard, legally, and wouldn't you know it, the boy genius made it in!

But even beyond that, the college admissions system is farcical over here. Students grades matter a lot, but they also factor in extra curricular activities, your application essay, etc etc. What becomes clear at every stage is that rich people can get a leg up on every aspect of this. Grinds to prep for the SAT, pay for expensive activities like lacrosse etc.

Athletics scholarships, outside of football and basketball, are also basically just a way to give rich white folks a leg up in the applications process. Soccer, tennis, lacrosse, softball, you name it there's places in college for playing it, and they are played overwhelmingly by rich white folks. Harvard grades out students on a six point scale. If you have a 4 on that scale, your odds of getting in are 0.074%. If you have a 4 on that scale and are going to play a sport with them, it increases to 33%. Nobody in their right mind is actually watching these sports, so it's just affirmative action for rich people.

Honestly even though in Ireland our rich little boys and girls can get a leg up by going to fee paying schools and stuff, I still miss the CAO system to be honest.

And that's setting aside the fact that college is outrageously expensive anyway, far beyond the reach of most non rich people either way. When I worked at Notre Dame, students were paying nearly 50 grand a YEAR to be there, just for undergraduate.

I now work at a very much non-elite, university in Texas where the admission rate is very high (ie non-selective) and the fees are "low" (under ten grand a year counts as low), and I work with students from some really tough backgrounds, people with parents in jail, brought up in drug-dens, I work with single mothers and military veterans, children of illegal immigrants. The struggles some of my students have been through to get where they are, and the work they put in when they're in my classes...when I read about these people bribing coaches and stuff it makes me want to puke, but to be honest the real scandal is the amount of stuff that's actually legal in this system.

(As an aside a few people mentioned that failing students are often let slide or get a bump on their grade. I've never encountered this in any institution, elite or not. With athletes, I have more often found that they lay on lots of extra tuition for them to keep their grades up (another leg up for the lads). I had football players who thought they were allowed do what they wanted to, but they were not)
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14-03-2019, 14:19   #32
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Her hubbie is worth a cool $80,000,000. He is a fashion designer for Target.
$500k is peanuts to them then
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14-03-2019, 14:24   #33
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There are degrees of wealth and these people, while wealthy by most people's standards, aren't necessarily wealthy enough to donate an amount of money equivalent to a new library, i.e. millions. Or perhaps their estimated net worth while very high, is in no way liquid. Going by an above poster, the average amount paid was 400-600k.

So they were either too stingy to do it the more legitimate, donations way (unlikely) or they simply didn't have the cash required (more likely) and went for a more affordable, albeit illegal, option.
Yeah it's important to keep in mind just how much money is swishing around these institutions. Notre Dame has an endowment of 13 BILLION. They can afford to be picky about accepting donations. The Irish studies institute there, funded mainly by the Keough and Naughton families, each year held something called the Ireland council, where the institute would lay out for its donors what its plans were for the year to spend the money, advance research, set the agenda for Irish studies etc. This was a meeting that the Taoiseach of the day would send a personalised video. When I was there they were able to announce the purchase of Kylemore Abbey for the institute. To get in the door of the council, I'm told, you had to be donating 7 figures. A 900,000 donation was welcome, but it's not considered big money.

And that's just one institute at ND, and not by any means one of the bigger ones. It's hard to imagine how much money 13 billion is for a university, because it's so obscene, and dwarfs anything in Ireland.
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14-03-2019, 14:38   #34
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One of these days, the higher-ed bubble in the States is going to bust.
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14-03-2019, 14:39   #35
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Legally Blonde a true story based
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14-03-2019, 15:43   #36
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The whole thing sound nuts is college ranking the be all and end all in the US?
For some people. For the past few years I've worked at two fairly prestigious financial firms and both would only consider graduates of certain schools for hire. It's not like that everywhere, but having certain schools on your resume will definitely get you more attention.

But for others, like the rich people in this scandal, it's more about status than anything else. Because what those very top schools get you is a network and connections. These kids already had connections and networks through their parents. So it was mostly about being able to brag that your kid got into whatever school with the neighbors.
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14-03-2019, 15:54   #37
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People like to slag off dumb Americans, but lecturers in unis here are regularly instructed to engage in veritable marking gymnastics to pass students who deserve to fail. Not due to a call from rich daddy, but just standard procedure because it looks better for the uni to pass people.
15 years lecturing and I've never seen that
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14-03-2019, 16:26   #38
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this is a country where it is legal for congressmen to ask for money from lobby groups to vote a certain way on legislation.
At the top level this is the major reason why DT is despised by Washington.

He can't be controlled.

Cannot be bought.
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14-03-2019, 16:27   #39
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At the top level this is the major reason why DT is despised by Washington.

He can't be controlled.

Cannot be bought.

ROFLMAO
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14-03-2019, 16:36   #40
Obvious Desperate Breakfasts
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Lori Loughlin spent $500k to get her kids into USC - aside from whatever the actual tuition/boarding costs. If you're going to drop half a million, at least aim a little higher. Stanford, UC Berkeley, Yale?

But honestly, there are already perfectly legal ways for rich people to game the system. What's wrong getting your mediocre kid in the old fashioned way by making a donation/funding a new library? But they've got to go crime it up and pay someone to pretend their kid might make the crew team. Which is barely even a D1 sport. And now, everyone knows their kids are stupid/lazy/their degrees are worthless, so they've spent all that money when the kid could have just quietly gone to a community/state school and no one would have been the wiser.
I guess maybe the Ivy League colleges do actually want to attract the best of the best. They’ll want to keep churning out high quality graduates to keep their esteemed names. I think the Ivies offer quite generous financial aid to lower income bright kids that they want on their books, don’t they?

I read a really interesting article about the yearly fight to gain admission to Harvard Law School recently. Every year they have to deal with the rich parents of rejectees, outraged that the fruit of their loins was not admitted. Makes me feel proud of my father’s first cousin, a first generation American of working class Irish emigrant parents, for getting in there in the 1970s.

Whereas a university with a less prestigious reputation might be happy to take on some mediocre students in exchange for a cash injection.
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14-03-2019, 16:40   #41
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Originally Posted by Obvious Desperate Breakfasts View Post
I guess maybe the Ivy League colleges do actually want to attract the best of the best. They’ll want to keep churning out high quality graduates to keep their esteemed names. I think the Ivies offer quite generous financial aid to lower income bright kids that they want on their books, don’t they?

I read a really interesting article about the yearly fight to gain admission to Harvard Law School recently. Every year they have to deal with the rich parents of rejectees, outraged that the fruit of their loins was not admitted. Makes me feel proud of my father’s first cousin, a first generation American of working class Irish emigrant parents, for getting in there in the 1970s.

Whereas a university with a less prestigious reputation might be happy to take on some mediocre students in exchange for a cash injection.
Stanford and Yale were both institutions named in the scandal and have just been named in a lawsuit related to it. Harvard, so far, doesn't appear to have a connection to this mess.
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14-03-2019, 16:44   #42
 
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Top universities in Ireland are so reliant on foreign fee paying students that they will do almost anything to pass them and will find a technicality if one is caught cheating. There is no point in spending millions marketing a college in the middle and far east only to get a reputation for being strict. A person spending tens of thousands to come and study in Europe is not going to risk failing in Trinity if they can go elsewhere in Europe and have an easier time. This practice is rampant as 3rd level is big business. Approximately 50% of TCDs income is from the private sector.
RCSI is renowned for their strict fair marking of international students. And have set up feeder unis in such bastions of human and respect as Bahrain to teach more admittedly very rich students
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14-03-2019, 16:46   #43
Realt Dearg Sec
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At the top level this is the major reason why DT is despised by Washington.

He can't be controlled.

Cannot be bought.
In the context of how Trump's education secretary Betsy DeVos is systematically gutting every aspect of the education system that might help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to level the playing field that is so generously tilted in the favour of the wealthy, this post, on this thread, is hilariously wrong.

Not to mention that Trump himself, who seems to have been a very mediocre student at best (he has fought tooth and nail to prevent any of his test scores at school and college level from being released, so we can't verify that), got into Wharton because an admissions officer there had gone to high school with his older brother. In other words, Trump's career embodies the kind of culture of rich people working their networks that constitutes the problem here. He is certainly not in the business of solving it.
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14-03-2019, 16:53   #44
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Rich people using their wealth to elevate their mediocre kids above brighter, poorer students isn't something new. People send their kids to private schools at great expense don't they?
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14-03-2019, 16:54   #45
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Rich people using their wealth to elevate their mediocre kids above brighter, poorer students isn't something new. People send their kids to private schools at great expense don't they?
a bit of a leap from there to bribing college officials and getting others to do your childrens exams for them.
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