Rich Folks Get Their Not Qualified Kids Into College, But This Time, Illegally

 

A story broke this morning about a scheme involving some rich folks, including two actresses (Felicity Hoffman and Lori Loughlin) have used to get their kids who wouldn’t have otherwise been admitted into college.

My friend Salena Zito remarked,

And Daniella Greenbaum Davis rightfully pointed out,

With parents like these, I think I’m even better off having gone to Rutgers on my own merits, on my own dime.

Published in Education
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There are 103 comments.

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  1. Reagan

    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?” Who’s surprised by this? And – at least where these mostly private schools are concerned – where’s the crime? Poor form? Sure. By why (legally) can’t they allocate slots to the highest bidders?

    • #1
    • March 12, 2019 at 12:22 pm
    • 7 likes
  2. Reagan
    iWe

    Counter to some of the assertions, being white does not help, unless you are willing to cheat.

    My reckoning is that 40% of the Ivy League is now filled with kids who are not there for reasons of academic qualification. I include athletes, affirmative action, unprepared “first gen” kids, and legacies among those.

    Being white, rich, and fully academically qualified means you have 3-4% chance of getting into a Princeton.

    • #2
    • March 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm
    • 13 likes
  3. Thatcher

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?”

    Dude, I am just wondering why it is a crime?

    • #3
    • March 12, 2019 at 12:57 pm
    • 2 likes
  4. Member

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?”

    Dude, I am just wondering why it is a crime?

    I believe the wire/mail fraud statues came into play because the whole scheme was described as a “charity.”

    • #4
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    • 5 likes
  5. Member

    More on this over on the Member Feed.

    • #5
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?” Who’s surprised by this? And – at least where these mostly private schools are concerned – where’s the crime? Poor form? Sure. By why (legally) can’t they allocate slots to the highest bidders?

    There’s a degree of “creativity” at work here that I suppose makes it newsworthy. Bribing coaches of low level college sports to list interest in a kid for admissions purposes when the kid doesn’t play the sport (or plays it poorly) approaches a new low in gaming the system.

    • #6
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Coolidge

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    • #7
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:22 pm
    • 8 likes
  8. Member

    The Buzzfeed article says:

    Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as recruits for the crew team, despite the fact that the children weren’t on a crew team.

    A half-million dollar bribe to get into Princeton or Harvard would be bad enough, but to get into USC?

    • #8
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm
    • 12 likes
  9. Member

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?”

    Dude, I am just wondering why it is a crime?

    I believe the wire/mail fraud statues came into play because the whole scheme was described as a “charity.”

    Is it the same FBI team that “uncovered” the payoffs to families of basketball players to influence what school they went to?

    • #9
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Member

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?”

    Dude, I am just wondering why it is a crime?

    I believe the wire/mail fraud statues came into play because the whole scheme was described as a “charity.”

    Is it the same FBI team that “uncovered” the payoffs to families of basketball players to influence what school they went to?

    This is a really interesting topic.

    Another one is what did Rod Blogioavich actually do that was wrong.

    • #10
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:35 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Thatcher

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    • #11
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm
    • 6 likes
  12. Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    The Buzzfeed article says:

    Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as recruits for the crew team, despite the fact that the children weren’t on a crew team.

    A half-million dollar bribe to get into Princeton or Harvard would be bad enough, but to get into USC?

    They may have needed a school where the daughters’ inability to decide which end of the oar to hold would go unnoticed.

     

    • #12
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:37 pm
    • 7 likes
  13. Thatcher

    I love this line from the AG

    “There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy and there will not be a separate criminal justice system either,” (US Atty Andrew) Lelling said. “We’re not talking about donating a building so a school is more likely to take your son or daughter, we’re talking about deception or fraud.”

    So an endowment for admission is OK, but paying the administration off isn’t?

    I guess they just didn’t bribe the right people.

    • #13
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    • 10 likes
  14. Member

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    University of Spoiled Children

     

    • #14
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:40 pm
    • 4 likes
  15. Member

    I’m sure there must be an Arthur Digby Sellers-related comic relief angle in here somewhere…

    • #15
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm
    • 4 likes
  16. Member

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    University of Spoiled Children

    I see the rest of the PAC-12 is ready to pile on. :)

    • #16
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm
    • 5 likes
  17. Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I’m not defending this, just wondering “why is this news?”

    Celebrities being charged with a criminal offense is always news.

    • #17
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm
    • 4 likes
  18. Thatcher

    iWe (View Comment):

    Counter to some of the assertions, being white does not help, unless you are willing to cheat.

    My reckoning is that 40% of the Ivy League is now filled with kids who are not there for reasons of academic qualification. I include athletes, affirmative action, unprepared “first gen” kids, and legacies among those.

    Being white, rich, and fully academically qualified means you have 3-4% chance of getting into a Princeton.

    iWe,

    Exactly. This is the real problem. As soon as it wasn’t good enough to just help minorities but universities were required to fulfill a quota the whole meritocracy was disrupted. Once merit is taken off the table anything is possible. Up is up and down is down but when you remove the law of gravity anything goes.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm
    • 5 likes
  19. Thatcher

    For $1.2 million, I’d tutor a kid for four years.

    A degree from the University of Stad beats Haaaaavard any day . . .

    • #19
    • March 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    • 10 likes
  20. Member

    Bethany Mandel: A story broke this morning about a scheme involving some rich folks, including two actresses

    Actors.

    • #20
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm
    • 3 likes
  21. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    For $1.2 million, I’d tutor a kid for four years.

    A degree from the University of Stad beats Haaaaavard any day . . .

    And Harvard doesn’t offer advanced bartending courses either!

    • #21
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    • 4 likes
  22. Thatcher

    The US Atty, Andrew Lelling:

    “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest genuinely talented student was rejected.”

    One could also say the same for Affirmative Action.

    ‘For every student admitted through fraud Affirmative Action, an honest genuinely talented student was rejected.’

    • #22
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    • 7 likes
  23. Contributor

    This is no worse than affirmative action.

    • #23
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    • 4 likes
  24. Contributor

    Instugator (View Comment):

    The US Atty, Andrew Lelling:

    “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest genuinely talented student was rejected.”

    One could also say the same for Affirmative Action.

    ‘For every student admitted through fraud Affirmative Action, an honest genuinely talented student was rejected.’

    You beat me to it, @instugator.

    • #24
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    • 2 likes
  25. Contributor

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    University of Spoiled Children

    Yeah, but the Song Girls are worth it. 😎

    • #25
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:28 pm
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    Here’s the indictment for anyone interested in a deeper dive.

    • #26
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    University of Spoiled Children

    I see the rest of the PAC-12 is ready to pile on. :)

    Once upon a time I actually toured USC – twice – with my son. He had them on his short list (eventually chose Seattle Pacific University) but I don’t think he really had much interest in them. The tours, however, were kind of amusing and kind of pathetic at the same time. The tour guides were the most shameless name droppers I have ever seen “Oh, Steven Spielberg teaches a class in blah blah blah, and George Lucas teaches a class in yada yada yada”. At that point my son was interested in physics as well as theology (how’s that for a combo?), and neither tour guide was able to tell us which building housed the Physics department. They also didn’t know if they had theological offerings (they have a school of “religion” but it’s pretty much smorgasbord). 

    I did just about get run over by Mark Sanchez on a skateboard though. Maybe he was destined for the butt fumble.

    • #27
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:43 pm
    • 8 likes
  28. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    For $1.2 million, I’d tutor a kid for four years.

    A degree from the University of Stad beats Haaaaavard any day . . .

    You joke, but if you do the math of how much the average college professor makes per hour multiplied by the number of hours of instruction that are required to get a bachelor’s degree, it would be both cheaper and faster to hire PhD-level tutors than to attend a four-year college.

     

    • #28
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    • 7 likes
  29. Contributor

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Lets see. Affirmative action distorts the college entrance market away from caucasians and asians. (Basically anyone with an ‘asian’ in their description).

    So the parents pay to game the system.

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Not rich enough to create an endowment, giving the rest of us 1 percenters a bad name and trying to do this on the cheap

    The nerve

    Did you see where Lori Loughlin paid $500k just to get their kid admitted? To USC? Wow.

    Paying $500K for admission to USC seems pretty stupid to me.

    University of Spoiled Children

    I see the rest of the PAC-12 is ready to pile on. :)

    Once upon a time I actually toured USC – twice – with my son. He had them on his short list (eventually chose Seattle Pacific University) but I don’t think he really had much interest in them. The tours, however, were kind of amusing and kind of pathetic at the same time. The tour guides were the most shameless name droppers I have ever seen “Oh, Steven Spielberg teaches a class in blah blah blah, and George Lucas teaches a class in yada yada yada”. At that point my son was interested in physics as well as theology (how’s that for a combo?), and neither tour guide was able to tell us which building housed the Physics department. They also didn’t know if they had theological offerings (they have a school of “religion” but it’s pretty much smorgasbord).

    I did just about get run over by Mark Sanchez on a skateboard though. Maybe he was destined for the butt fumble.

    I almost accidentally ran over Tommy Tuberville several years ago. True story.

    • #29
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    • 2 likes
  30. Member

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):
    The tours, however, were kind of amusing and kind of pathetic at the same time.

    I have a younger relative that ruled out Wisconsin partly because of this. He was really weirded out by their pitch given that they actually have quite a bit of status.

    • #30
    • March 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm
    • 3 likes
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