Who knew there was a simple way to skip a whole college admission process?

According to NY Times :

"A teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a star soccer recruit at Yale. The 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. The 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. Thirty-three well-heeled parents were charged in the case, including Hollywood celebrities and prominent business leaders, and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come"


"The parents included the television star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; the actress Felicity Huffman; and William E. McGlashan Jr., a partner at the private equity firm TPG, officials said"

I find this strangely interesting. Another person that worked on Stanford Admissions said that there is approximately a full 15-20% of every incoming class is on that "must-admit" list.
So you can either work hard for your grades or have your rich parents literally buy your way into a college. Thoughts on this?

Some more coverage about the scandal here, here and here. CNN has a pretty good write-up about everything here

1 week ago*

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Welcome to Capitalism!

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1 week ago
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It has nothing to do with capitalism.

Equality of oportunity is something capitalism wants, and this is not that, this is a corrupt institution, who cared more for money than for merit.

That's why it's wrong

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lol

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One could very well argue that this is one aspect of capitalism taken more to its logical extreme. Much like all other major political ideas, capitalism has many different interpretations, and if you take a more laissez-faire approach to capitalism, then a "whoever can pay the most gets in" system for education makes perfect sense. The universities & colleges needs money, and operate like corporate entities in many ways, so in order to get that, they sell their services to the highest bidder. Most people who are strong proponents of capitalism, even laissez-faire capitalism, would not want it to be taken to such a logical extreme though (extreme laissez-faire capitalism would.

Although technically speaking, I guess a better term than laissez-faire here would be "raw capitalism", but that's not as commonly used a term as laissez-faire, and it seems like many who identify their beliefs as laissez-faire capitalism are actually more proponents of the related, but not identical, raw capitalism. The issue with terms being a bit misused by the general public, it's hard to know which term to actually use in any given situation to be understood :P

1 week ago
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Fraud, in about all cases here.

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+1

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Capitalism only cares about money.

"Greed is good" is the capitalist motto.

Capitalism has nothing to do with equality, meritocracy, or even opportunity. In fact, capitalism works against those principles.

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You got it just right,. The kids are very naive these days.

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Most people just think that they're temporarily embarrassed millionaires. They believe that these privileges will be theirs someday.

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+1.

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Or more precisely:
Welcome to Reality, dreams of idealistic worlds needs to be discarded at the door.

Wealthier parents means healthier, better cared, better tutored children with way more opportunities even without such options like directly buying better positions.

1 week ago
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my parents lived in full socialism times and there was the same so watch out what you're talking if you don't know how it is on the other side mister

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I know both words start with C, but what we see here is corruption, not capitalism. Do you honestly think that elites in communist countries don't do things in similar manner?
Problem is not the system, it's the corrupting and corruptable people finding their way to the top of every and any system there is. I know it's crazy, but who could have figured out, that greedy and power hungry people are after money and power, both of which reside at the top of any society?

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Did you ever thinked that the world work in a different way ?

When yes, you should open the eyes for the reality.

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Not sure why anyone is surprised by this

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As someone on Reddit already said, there's this stupid way of bribing or you could just "donate" the money to the uni, and get your children accepted along with the lecture hall named after you.

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however even a 10m donation doesn't guarantee 100% they'll take your amazing child onboard, so the other methods are "safer" and cheaper.

wish i had 10m to donate around thou :D

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Most rich parents hire good repetitors to provide best and easy education for their child. Most rich kids from my university are actually smart, not as most news channels let you think that they're all dumb.

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I'd hire some nth year student from another uni to take the exam with fake id, that can't cost more than a bag of weed.

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Ah, cheating at university level... :-/ Colleges/universities need to be able to revoke degrees, if there is solid evidence of this kind. I think in some countries this already works (maybe even 'Murica), but for instance in Czechia, it doesn't. Last year, two politicians (ministers, even) were discovered to have plagiarized their theses (basically copy&pasted full chapters from other works without any kind of citations) -- they were forced to resign, but I don't remember any of them losing their degree...

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In germany they loose the degree ... hit a lot of politicans BUT they don't must pay back money (with degree they get higher payed) or have in general a bad reputation.
It is handled as it was "nothing".
Disgusting for normal people...

I think it is the same in each country

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Did they forget he is among the vastly over-represented group? They should have just placed him in.

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what else is new ?

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I found a BIG spider in my yard. Pretty shocking, captured and released on the same spot.

1 week ago
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Pic or it didn't happen.

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Real, 100% not fake, earth is flat!!, Elvis is alive!!

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My thoughts exactly. These are the only the ones that were caught...Probably their parents rubbed someone the wrong way. Its been going on forever.

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The degree doesn't make the man.

1 week ago
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But the school on the degree can get the man hired.

Many companies will look for and recruit from specific schools, and your chance of getting an interview are slim if you're not from one of them. And on the slim chance that you do get hired, your chance of promotion and advancement is lower if you're not from one of those schools.

And even outside of the companies that have lists of schools they recruit from, your chances of being interviewed and hired are much higher if you graduated from a top school, particularly in very competitive professions. The school on your resume may be the thing that gets you in the door to have an interview in the first place.

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Don't care, I wasn't even arguing until you pointed out what everyone has already been saying.
I was only making a statement.

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Frankly, even though I feel it's morally wrong to some extent, I don't see a true issue in paying to access to classes, as long as it's just access to the classes and not exam fraud like what you describe in the 2nd example (and as long as the money goes in a very large majority towards the university, as opposed to the person who did the shady deal). Notably, that's less wrong than stealing taxing the "rich" at a 75% tax rate to fund universities without giving them anything in return.

And yes, as the person above me says, the degree means nothing anyway. At my company, sure we look at the resume, but we completely ignore degrees when they're put in the balance with our technical tests.

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There's two main points that people have issue with here from what I can gather.
First is that this shows that some people just get an easier way through life and people in general want others to suffer as much as them. Those people will usually just be those that don't actually suffer, but instead are in a pretty mediocre life with no real struggles, but no real handouts either. Those that actually suffer are pretty humbled usually and wouldn't wish their shit on others.

Second is just that there are limited amount of spots. So if you take 80 students in a certain major and like 3 have bought their way in, then that means that 3 other hard working kids might genuinely lose out on their higher education.

If we have to start choosing the lesser of two evils, then we're basically just admitting that we've completely failed and there's no way out. That the common man truly is so pathetic and worthless that they just can't do anything about these issues. I disagree with that and I personally wouldn't just say "Well, Timmy shot a police officer in the leg, but it's not that bad because he didn't murder him." Neither of these things should happen and so we should keep demonizing both of these offenses.

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Second is just that there are limited amount of spots. So if you take 80 students in a certain major and like 3 have bought their way in, then that means that 3 other hard working kids might genuinely lose out on their higher education.

Indeed, but one could argue that enrolling students that are willing to pay a million $ should help opening more spots than that one $1M spot that was just bought out. Or at least help keep afloat a uni that would otherwise close/reduce available spots. That is, if, as I mentioned earlier, the money mostly benefits to the uni.

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Indeed, but one could argue that enrolling students that are willing to pay a million $ should help opening more spots than that one $1M spot that was just bought out.

I agree in theory, but there's a reason these dealings are made in the shadows. This is a case of corruption though, so I doubt that the money went to the right places. At best, maybe they built a new building or something similar and a good portion of that money was "mismanaged" into someone's pocket here.

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I understand your gripe with those that cheat the system academically, but what about those that get in based on sporting slots. Shouldn't those slots go to the academically inclined in the first place?

In your example, those 3 that bought their way in may in fact be the hardest working kids of the bunch, its just that they aren't as academically inclined and have to work that much harder to keep up. They may in fact do the best in the workplace because of their work ethic. Then again, they could just be spoiled brats who don't put in any effort.

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what about those that get in based on sporting slots. Shouldn't those slots go to the academically inclined in the first place?

Indeed. In my country, there isn't such a thing as getting into a uni because the sports team wants you. I've always found the US university system unbelievably strange / kind of surreal in that respect.

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College sports are huge in the US and bring a lot of attention, notoriety, and especially MONEY to the school (via TV revenue, support from boosters (donations), etc.). So it's worth it to them to give the best athletes a free ride, and help them as much as they can to graduate (tutors, access to easy and/or sports-themed majors, and of course unethical means). In fact, many argue that some kids in the big sports should get paid to attend the school, because of all the money the school gets for their services. And of course, this happens all the time under the table, and sometimes schools get caught.

Personally I could care less about most college sports, and I agree it sounds strange that just because somebody can dunk a basketball or catch a football that they should get a free ride to uni.

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Shouldn't those slots go to the academically inclined in the first place?

Depends on the major, I think. The whole "College football/basketball" thing is baffling to me all around and personally I think it's a weird mix. If the major would be Sport Management or Sport Studies, then I'd support that since having skills in different fields would help you out a lot and would make sense. But if a meathead can only get into college because he's good at football and that he's going to study physics or something else irrelevant to his skillset, then I wouldn't support it.

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In germany you are/have nothing without degrees (for all and everything).
You don't get the chance to show them what you can without the "fitting" degrees :o(
(from learning by doing can you dream here...)

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Oh, that's a bit of a surprise, I had the impression Germany was more modern than that...

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Let me see if I can illustrate why this is a problem.

First, this is taking something that should be based on merit - getting into an elite school - and selling it to the fabulously wealthy instead. The problem with this, other than it being grossly unfair, is that this perpetuates the cycle where the wealthy are afforded opportunities others don't have. Thus the wealthy get wealthier, while the poor but hardworking get screwed over to stay poor.

But this problem becomes worse if you apply it to other things. Let's take hospitals and ER rooms - you may be bleeding from a gunshot wound, but that guy's willing to pay $100,000, so we're going to treat him first, and you'll just have to wait. Police stations that prioritize the wealthy and let them get out of tickets. Fire stations that prioritize getting a cat out of a wealthy person's tree over your house burning down. Once you allow buying your way into one common good - education - you set the groundwork for everything else.

Second, the school doesn't see this money, it's all pocketed by the people running the scheme. So it would actually be the ER attendant letting you bleed out because someone else paid them off. It'll be the police and fire department dispatcher ignoring you because someone else paid them.

Also, these are private colleges and universities, they do not receive federal or state funding from taxes.

And while the degree doesn't make the man, it sure gets the man hired. A lot of companies heavily recruit from specific schools, and barely bother looking at people who don't come from one of them. Investment and consulting firms have actual lists of schools they recruit from, and if you didn't go to one of those schools then your chances of getting an interview are very slim, and even if you do get hired your chances of promotion are lower.

And, finally, I think you misunderstand how a graduated tax rate works. If there's a 75% tax rate on those earning $1,000,000+, that 75% only applies to the money they earn over $1,000,000. So they'll only get 25% of their 1,000,001st dollar, but will still get 65% of their 999,999th dollar. So, sure, they'll only get to take home an additional $250K of their 2nd million, but given that it's on top of the ~$750K from their first million, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Or they could always chose to earn less than 1 million, there's always that option.

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what the hell thought Giannulli parents, while deciding for their newborn's name...

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I just don't understand the allure of cheek implants.

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No idea who he is, too uninterested to make a search

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I love how cynical the comments are :D
"It's capitalism"
"No shit, Sherlock".

Both of these types of people are like caricatures. They say that it's obvious, yet none of them have done this seemingly basic bit of research and none of you wrote this supposedly obviously basic and simple exposé. You didn't know anything. You assumed it at best. But even then, odds are half the things you assume aren't even true. So easy to be Captain Hindsight, but none of those same people manage to uncover these things.

Same for capitalism comments. This is corruption, not capitalism. Unless buying loyalty from the police chief for evidence disposal is now capitalism too? Was the Soviet Union a capitalist state now? They had similar stuff going on, yet people call that regime communism. Go back to browsing r/latestagecapitalism where you can ban whoever disagrees if you're so inclined to say such stupid stuff. It's just blind hate towards something. Like people who turn the conversation around to themselves each time something's mentioned.

The people who paid to get their kids into college are total shitheads who are so disconnected from reality that they're barely functioning human beings. They know that one thing they need to know to make money and they can't handle anything else. They'd probably be confused if they had to tie their shoelaces as well. Rich idiots who can't raise their kids.

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You are right but you also have to consider that greed is pretty much the basic tenet of capitalism, and greed promotes corruption.

Yes there are outliers in every system, Bill Gates donated billions of dollars for example- but we'd be disingenuous if we didn't apply a fair dose of cynicism when it comes to a system that favors those who already have more than others.

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You are right but you also have to consider that greed is pretty much the basic tenet of capitalism, and greed promotes corruption.

I agree with half of this. Greed does promote corruption. But corrupt men are everywhere, not just capitalism. Capitalism doesn't promote greed. It promotes tenacity and competitiveness. Mind you, these things can easily be mixed up and one can look the same as the other. But capitalism has been about innovation and improvement.

People will always be greedy to an extent. That wish for more of something, whether it's money, food, jewels/gems, love, adoration, fame or whatever else, will always be in people's hearts. We can pretend like we're above that, but we're not. I'm 100% sure you have some greedy goal in mind. Maybe you want a better paying job. Maybe you want a better apartment. Maybe you just want more games or tastier french fries for your next meal. Whatever it is, you want it and you want it enough to work for it. That's what capitalism revolves around.

You have a goal and you work towards getting it. In this case, it's money (which coincidentally facilitates most, if not all other desires). So you work harder at your job, which is a very capitalistic thing because you're competing at the workplace. Maybe you get a sidegig by writing a novel or delivering food. That's capitalism at its finest.

Point here is that capitalism is the system that facilitates competition. That's all it does. It might amplify someone's negative aspects, but that's not inherent to capitalism. There were many rich men and women in the Soviet Union. They had the same proportions of bad actors who did bad stuff. Currently, Venezuela has a shitload of corruption. They're not capitalist. China, a communist state, has such huge issues with a corruption score of only 39/100 from Transparency International. They're the antithesis of capitalism. Yet, they're more corrupt than the US. They're also a huge competitor to the US because they for a long time haven't been a poor 3rd world country that everyone saw as a backwards nation. China will overtake the US soon enough.
Socialistic-capitalistic states, like in Scandinavia, are known to have extremely low corruption. They have a mix between socialism and capitalism. Capitalistic ideals are still promoted.
Or if you need another capitalistic state, then look at the UK. They don't have a lot of corruption. Sure, it exists, but I think neither of us will claim that there's a real country with no corruption.

Mind you, corruption is there. Money is power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
But if we're really going this route of blaming a financial system for an inherently universal human problem, then we'll never alleviate this issue. And that's what we can do. Alleviate. We'll never be rid of corruption. People don't get corrupted by competition. They get corrupted by power. Whether it's power as a communist party member, as a teacher, as a police officer or as a CEO of a large company. It does a disservice to the discussion of the issue and will lead to nowhere.

Thanks for the response! I appreciate a different point of view :)

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It's all good, and I mainly agree with you.

Capitalism as a construct is not to blame for the inherent greed of mankind. It is in our nature, after all.

The problem is that capitalism falsely promotes the thesis that 'more is always better'. It completely relies on a state of perpetual growth and the consumption of resources for the greatest profit instead of the greatest good. Capitalism needs a throwaway culture to survive and it doesn't think to the negative impact unless it affects the bottom line.

Even the US is a mixed economic system, a blend of socialism and capitalism already. Otherwise companies would still be dumping toxic waste just anywhere, and we'd have 7 year olds working 40 hours a week again.

So when you say "capitalism has been about innovation and improvement", I would like to agree; but on that same token someone might say that "communism has been about the good of society".

In a perfect world, both those statements would be correct, but it's not in human nature so I fear neither is true... xD

Thanks for your response as well! =D

1 week ago
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You just can't whitelist a fella twice. But I tried.

1 week ago
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I dunno, that's just unwhitelisting. :P

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I have very mixed feelings on this for a few reasons. Obviously, I'd like those that worked hard and who would make the most of their education given the best opportunity. But those that get in because of sports aren't really there on the merit of their education, but the merit of how much money they could earn the university. Who's to say who'd get more out of it, the athlete who has to train all the time and probably has aspirations of continuing professionally, or the fake athlete who may only have this chance at furthering themselves. Then we have how I got into my high school...

In Canada we have two official languages, English and French. I was enrolled in the French immersion program up until high school where my choices were either the English high school or the French. In reality there was no choice as the French required I have at least 1 French parent, of which I had none. After a very frank discussion, and a reminder it was an election year and the stink they could cause, I was slipped through the cracks and enrolled in the French high school. Not an exact parallel, but in both chases rules were bent/broken. At least there wasn't any restrictions on the amount of students. Funnily enough, both schools were housed in the same building and even shared teachers/classes.

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French is an official language in Canada?

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Supposedly, though it's only at the Federal level. At the provincial level it's a different thing, only one province is officially bilingually French and English, another is officially only French while the rest of the provinces are only English. Territories are a mixed bag, all have English and French as official languages but may include indigenous languages as well.

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I thought thats normal and everybody knows about capitalism and its bribes... :B

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Frankly, I'm not surprised. Corruption is very pervasive.

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Well I guess we always suspect that this is how it works, especially when Johnny Prep-boy could barely pass basic maths in high school, but finds himself with a spot in whatever university he wants. But it's still not nice when it gets actually exposed, and makes you wonder, how many others haven't been caught.

And seriously, Aunt becky, we thought you were better than this.

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At least for me, not a surprise at all... unfortunately... 😢
"We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." 1 John 5:19

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Odds are they'll be out of their depth, sink, and the parents will be no better off for cheating.

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If that bribe/donation pays for the education of other students through scholarships is it still bad? Let some rich bastards pay 20+ times the tuition fees for young Archibald to go to his uni of choice, use the extra money to give people who otherwise couldn't afford it a decent education. As long as it's transparent and the rich kid isn't being given special treatment in their exams they are still earning a degree like the other students.

The examples here are kind of stupid though. Especially the one about the learning disability so the guy could cheat on the extry exam. Fuck that guy.

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Normal: Parents wanting the best for their kids.
Normal: Parents going to great lengths to give their kids a "leg up."
Harmful: Kids not having to struggle to achieve, weakening their drive and destroying their sense of accomplishment.
Hypocritical: Liberal parents who demand "equality" and "fairness for all" while gaming "the system" in order to establish their kids among the "ruling elite."

(I probably could have worded all of that better, but I'm out of time. Oh, well...)

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I believe in US, as long as the kid has a parent who went to the prestigious university, then the parent can donate a large sum of money (millions) to basically get the kid in. Even easier if the parent used to teach as a full prof at the university. The university probably argues the kid has very promising potential to be as good as their parent (some of the "smartness" genes may have been passed on, or the upbringing, etc.), and the parent also gives the university millions of dollars to spend on their staff and other students who did get in based on just their merits. At least the donation path is transparent, and universities openly admit it.

The main problem with the cheating scheme path is that none of the money gets to the university's pocketbook. Of course they would want that system to go away.

I have a big rant about how the system is still rigged for people who are poor, however I'll spare everyone's eyes from it. (Unless someone asks me)

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It's funny because college degrees now aren't even worth shit half the time. And it's not like you need a job once your daddy's got that kind of money to get you into uni.

But you can say you're a Harvard grad, I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Their parents can also boast to everyone that their kid went to some prestigious university, rather than mumbling that they went to some unheard of state university for "poor people". That might be super important for some parents, for one reason or another.

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Oh yeah, true. But it's just sad that it's for such a superficial reason as well. Such a waste of money ;-;

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I have always been wondering about this "college" thing in the States.
I'm European and I was born and raised in the European academical system. Here of course we have universities ranked by prestige and such, but for instance I had many teachers that had graduated in small town universities and that have become among the most important teachers in their own fields.
Here, luckily, everyone can choose without any kind of restriction where to study. My girlfriend was born in Sicily and she studied for free (both house and taxes, she had never paid anything apart from some books and food) 1.000 kms northwards, changing university in-between (from one of the smallest to one of the biggest ones in Europe).
For what concerns America, we always see like parents saving money to send their children in some expensive college in another state.. it's really something beyond my imagination!
Of course we have some private universities too, but Idk.. our Nobel prize laureates have graduated from public, normal universities: Medicine Nobel holders Levi-Montalcini, Dulbecco and Luria have all graduated from the public Turin university, physicist Rubbia has graduated at the Pisa public university, mathematician Bombieri who is a Fields medal laureate has graduated from the Milan public university (not the private ones!) and so on.
Here mainly you go to a private university if you're extremely rich and well, you'll keep on being rich but it's more likely that changes and discoveries will come from those who graduated from public, free universities.
The American system looks so weird =P

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It's not just North America, in many places around the world higher education either costs money or requires crazy high rankings in central university entrance examinations.
Basically you either pay thousands of dollars, which is pretty high amount for the average person to afford in that country or you must be ranked among top 0.1% (top 1 thousandth) in the university entrance examinations, just for an average quality education, which is most likely lower quality compared to what you get in the Western Europe or Scandinavia for free. The other option is you get no university education and won't even be treated as human in the society. Don't even think it is like Germany or some other developed country where blue collars have pretty decent lives.

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Its unfair to student that really tried hard and got in a univercity but on the other hand those kids with rich parents dont really need the education they can either live on royalties of their parents or continue their business . I think parents are buying for them the college experience mostly

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