Largest college admissions cheating bust


She probably should’ve hired a writer to doctor it, make it sound more professional.


Meh. Glib and patronizing are just fine with me. Like I said, she speaks my language.


I am not a fan of the lingo or the approach either but… I don’t have a problem with rich people hiring tutors or mentors or people to prep them for interviews. That’s not in the same league as hiring someone for academic dishonesty or bribing or making up athletic achievements that never happened. I don’t think anyone is surprised that when someone’s name is on a library their family members get to go to that school.

It’s all mixed together like it’s all the same thing, and it’s not. Also, she knowingly helped students commit academic dishonesty… not seeing any responsibility taken there in her role.


I mean…yep. Gimme another five years, I’ll start to tire of insisting that the only correct response is to keep on flling fill Mme G’s dance card.


Look I know we’ve butted heads in the past, but…

This is the whole fucking thing. This is how President Shinra builds the plates that keep the 90% in Midgar in permanent twilight. This is the nightmare that all our writers were trying to warn us about for the last (checks watch) 150 years.

The system is utterly fucked. There is no meritocracy. There is privilege, and there is entrenched power and social constructs, and there is a dangled carrot which only the tiniest fraction of the actual people can possibly reach.

I’m as guilty as anyone. I do what I can to get my kids ahead (which is hilariously little, other than live somewhere where public education hasn’t been fully gutted yet) and I work a job where I get paid okay to help capital extract a slightly higher percentage of wealth from the masses it preys upon. I have no stones to throw.

But we should all know what it is we do, and where it is we live.


I am rather skeptical about the university’s claims that they didn’t know this was going on. I suspect that, instead, they turned a blind eye to any suspicions because of a number of reasons, ranging from publicity to even elite schools feeling the need to get more full-freight paying students in. I mean, these kids coming in fraudulently are probably paying full undiscounted tuition I imagine. That is admissions gold right there, and rare.

As far as how to treat the kids, I will say that if you enter, say, a race or some other sort of contest that it turns out you didn’t quality for or otherwise broke the rules to do so, regardless of intent, you generally have whatever result you got voided, right? So you could argue that, on those terms, getting into college fraudulently would and should invalidated anything you achieved there. Whether that would be the right or equitable course of action to take is another matter entirely.

As a college professor who spends a lot of time every year going to admissions events, giving sample classes and generally helping admissions convince kids and parents to come to my school, and who sees the incredible effort my students often put into both their schoolwork and the stuff they need to do to stay in school (and that’s after working hard to get in in the first place, as some of our programs are very competitive),I find this whole scandal infuriating.

Of course, no one that I know of would pay the kind of money that’s being talked about in the indictment to try to get their kid into my school. We don’t even have sports!


Yeah. Our system is broken. It doesn’t work for everyone all the time but because it works for some people some of the time it’s largely accepted.

The 1%… some of them even now, they’re trying to spin it like it’s no big deal… meanwhile a good junk the 99% lose sleep at night wondering how they can make sure their kids are going to be okay, even have a future. It’s not right.

I don’t want to punish them because they are the 1% though. I want them to feel and know what they did was wrong because it was wrong and illegal, and they are taking advantage of something that people worked hard to build, hard to maintain and offer, and what others are trying hard to get access to.

16, 17 even 18, young and dumb, often heavily influenced by their parents, clearly a bad influence here, they get the benefit of the doubt from me until proven otherwise.


Why the hyperbole? Do you mean there is not complete meritocracy? Sure. Did you ever think there was? Do you expect there ever will be or frankly should be, given human nature? Getting pissed about the rich being able to afford tutors, hire interview coaches, or being able to make above-board donations to get legacy admissions into private institutions is silly. Wealth has advantages. If it didn’t, no one would care to work so hard to get wealthy.

I, and most of my family and many, many of my friends are first generation immigrants. We came from a country (like, frankly, most other countries where immigrants come from) where it is much, much less of a meritocracy than the US. To us, the contrast is like night and day. We came, we learned English, we studied, sweated, and we succeeded in ways that we could never had done in our country of origin. Do I think that most of us worked harder than a wealthier, born in America, white-bread American to get to the same place? Sure. But what’s wrong with that? Hell, I damn well hope that my success translates to some degree to my children and gives them some form of leg up. I’ve honestly never heard any immigrant complain about the advantages that born-Americans have over an immigrant.

The key to a workable form of meritocracy, in a capitalist society, isn’t to demand that those who succeeded won’t be able to leverage success into any advantage. Rather, it is to make sure that those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds aren’t barred to an unreasonable degree, even if they ultimately need to work harder in some form than those who came from advantaged backgrounds.

This story should stoke anger at the criminal behavior. It should stoke further anger if the justice system ends up being unreasonably lenient on these folks, because of their wealth. But it shouldn’t stoke anger purely because the rich are rich and spend their money in legal ways to their advantage.


This is an overstatement.

Your lot in life is indeed affected to some degree by your actions and choices. Hard work does in fact matter. It’s not all just preordained.


Thank you. Why I love immigrants in a nutshell


It did not matter in this case. There is no way to look at this many schools, this many positions, and not say the admission process is broken. I won’t say the country is broke, but this system is clearly broken. Just look at it.


How many students are we talking about, here, over the thousands and thousands that are admitted each year across the nation? What percentage is this?

Compare, for example, to something like welfare or disability fraud. I’m sure there are thousands of individuals committing fraud across the country every year, but I wouldn’t consider those systems broken, purely on the basis that some fraud exists. People will commit crimes. It’s the percentage fraud and how our society reacts that matters. Some degree of abuse will always occur in any sufficiently large system. This story is just more sensational, for a number of reasons, than your day-to-day fraud.


sounds like a law firm


I think overall US college admission is one of the most meritocratic system in our country, and arguable one of the better system in other countries. (The international stuff just a guess on my part, I have no data.)

If you believe that people who benefit most from college are those with highest IQ/book smarts, then the American university system works pretty well. Certainly vastly better than say 50 years ago, where legacy admissions were far more common, and minorities and poor people were excluded.

By and large if you score in the top 2% on standardized test in this country and have reasonable high school grades, you’ll get a scholarship to a good school (if you need one). It may still be a financial struggle and kids from wealthy families graduate at higher rates than kids from poor families. But a poor kids with 1400 SAT is far more likely to graduate than rich kid with a 1000 SAT.


There is not mass fraud in those systems. This has been shown time and time again.

You think those coaches were just dishonest that one time do you? I suspect we’ll be seeing more soon.


That was his point.


We have proven those systems don’t have mass fraud. We’ve spent two minutes looking at this one. That’s not proven. The comparison makes no sense at all. Resources have been spent proven that false. How many resources have been spent looking at the admission processes? I said it before, I don’t think this is the entire group. We’ll be seeing more… in just that one region.

There isn’t even agreement if buying your way and donations are part of a broken system or not… some clearly think it is. This is just the crimes we’re looking at right now but that is not th entire system.


Yes it does.

What you have here is a fairly low number of fraudulent cases, given the extremely large number of admissions that takes place overall.

With social services in the US, you absolutely do have cases of fraud. But that number only constitutes a tiny overall percentage of the cases handled by those systems.

That was his point, that merely having what seems like a lot of cases doesn’t actually indicate that the system itself is broken.


Seeing a baby/bathwater issue here - let’s not condemn the entire educational system just because 50 examples of corruption surfaced. There surely are more, but it would take a very comprehensive study to convince me the entire system is rotten to the core. I and nearly everyone I know is an example of it being meritocratic - I know smart rich kids that flunked out, and poor first generation immigrants that have done very well. And a lot on the spectrum in between.

Throw the book at the corrupt, but don’t tell us the system is an abject failure when there are so many examples to the contrary.


This is what I love about modern America. Presented with incontrovertible evidence that the rich are cheating everyone else, what we do is point to some poors who might be cheating too.