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Tue Mar 12, 2019, 05:38 PM

The "elite college" scandal is not about educational excellence.

Trust me. Mr. Bear went to one. He got a good education. But (not his experience) one of the main reasons people want their kids to go there is not for education but for status. They want to hobnob and drop names and have an advantage when looking for jobs with other people who went to those schools. They want to be part of an elite group that’s privileged and thinks highly of their cohort. They want the colors and the tailgate party and just maybe an invitation to some party where they’ll meet someone who makes them feel special.

That’s why Spanky keeps spouting Wharton. He thinks it makes him special, whether he was at the bottom of the class or not.

DAMN I’m bummed though. I liked the work some of those people did. Can I not watch Shameless now? Crap.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2019, 06:01 PM

1. Best example of what is going on.

Status,status. Growing up in the Mid West,if you matriculated out of a Big Ten School,your job offers were ten times more likely than some State College or other non Big Ten Schools. And if you were a member of certain Frats or Sorority when interviewing,ah,that sure made a difference.

Status rules with certain Banking Firms as well as many of the Fortune 100 Companies.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2019, 06:23 PM

2. They laundered the bribe money through a phony charity and then used it as a chairitable deduction.

Trump must be proud of them.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:07 PM

3. "an advantage when looking for jobs"

And it works too.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:42 PM

4. Not just status, but security and predictability

According to the complaint:

“[T]here are . . . a group of families . . . [t]hat want guarantees, they want this thing done. . . . So I did . . . what I would call, ‘side doors.’ There is a front door which means you get in on your own. The back door is through institutional advancement, which is ten times as much money. And I’ve created this side door in. . . .My families want a guarantee. . . . So that, by the time, the summer before her senior year, hopefully we can have this thing done.”


Sure, rich people will complain about those fragile snowflake Walmart employees who would like a dependable schedule of their time two weeks out. I mean, how dare those employees think they can just schedule a day off in advance to go to the doctor or spend some time with their family? They need to be ready to go to work at a moment's notice 24-7 or lose their jobs, the slackers!

But rich people need to know a year in advance that there's a reserved spot for little Jackalope McQueasy III at Posh University, or they can't possibly face the day. I guess it's nice that they're willing to pay bribes to short-circuit the system, but how needy do you have to be when you're that well off? And even at that, they chisel the system for financial assistance.

JUMP! You fuckers.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:44 PM

5. My mom worked at universities all her life

and I work at one now...

You don't know how on point you are with the "right schools" hustle... The rabbit hole goes much deeper than you think.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 01:26 AM

13. Hey, with some people it starts with the "right" pre-school!

Just getting more ridiculous almost by the day.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:33 PM

6. My attorney graduated from Harvard Law. He said the important part of that is not the education,

it's the fact that you make all kinds of connections and friendships that will benefit you and your clients for a lifetime.
He said there is NO PRICE you can put on it, it can mean millions and millions of dollars if you play it right.

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:40 PM

7. Yes

A lot of these schools are just a continuation of the old boys club. So many of these people are born on 3rd base.

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:42 PM

9. Just look at the Federal Court system. almost all the judges are from Harvard or Yale.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:43 PM

10. Are you fucking kidding me?

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Response to Post removed (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:45 PM

11. um, you might want to delete this one.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:49 PM

12. I went to graduate school in science at MIT in the 1970s.

It helped me, but being a woman in science probably cancelled that out. I was a professor at a medical school in the midwest. I loved it when people asked me where I went to school. Yep, no response.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 03:14 AM

14. That is only true up to a point

My brother and sister both went to Harvard (I went to Penn), got in on their own merits. After all, we are nobodies, and my parents wouldn't have had the financial means to pull off any of that funny stuff even if they had been so inclined.

Of our classmates, as far as I know we all have virtually no contact with any of them. The exception is me, as I had kept in touch with a folk musician classmate who moved to the west coast and became.....a folk musician. He drowned about 15 years ago saving one of his sons from a riptide off the Oregon coast. The other is a struggling one-woman law office near Lancaster, PA. Real hot good old boy connections, yessiree.

There are definitely these networks at the "elite" schools, but far from everyone is part of them. Indeed, it seems to me that the reason that some of these families employ these sleazy tactics to get their kids in is that they fear their kids can't offer the academic achievement and social maturity that normal mortals like us were required to show before we were considered for admission. It isn't exactly a high vote of confidence that they fear their children don't have what it takes to get in on their own merits.

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Response to DFW (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:37 AM

16. So true. Its also about keeping up with the Joneses

I can imagine big tv stars like Huffman & loughlin married to other reputable actors and designers with $ have an image to keep. Theyve gotta be able to brag to their friends their spawn are not average kids. So...shell out half a million to get their kids into a reputable school? Heck yea, its part of their privilege. Money is no object after all.

BTW when my baby kiddo (a proud Longhorn finishing up her last year as a double major) was looking at colleges several years ago, USC didnt even make her list. All 7 Ivies came knocking. She chose none of them.

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Response to onetexan (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 01:01 PM

17. Bravo for her!

The Ivies aren't always--but can be--rather full of themselves. My daughter definitely applied to some Ivies and was rejected by all that she applied to. Her English wasn't quite as perfect as it is now, but it was pretty close. So she opted for "familiar" ground (Washington, DC), since she did get into George Washington. She interned for Emily's List, got to get active in Democratic Party politics early, and while she was there, and got to hang with (then-Party-Chairman) Howard Dean, (then-Senator) Barack Obama, to whom she introduced me in 2006 (Howard was already a friend by then), and legendary journalist Helen Thomas who, though not connected to Emily's List, had been a family friend since 1960. None of those were connections she utilized later on, but they did make her undergrad experience rather special.

My family has always been a sink or swim situation with colleges (and, in the case of my younger daughter, for the boarding school she applied to when she was 16, which was so far from Germany, if you kept going, you started to come back to Germany from the other direction).

As a cute contrast to the norm, I will offer the introduction to my one course taken in the Wharton building. To graduate, you needed at lease three semesters in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. As my major was in the "useless" humanities, I chose economics for one of my social science semesters. The long-haired professor walked in wearing a plaid shirt, and said, "I am your professor for this course. My name is Bill Whitney, so please call me Bill. My name is NOT 'Professor,' so please do NOT call me that." He was tough as nails, but he lessened the blow with his disarming manner.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 04:13 AM

15. It really depends

I've taken classes / taught / been involved with SEC schools, Top 25 academic schools, city schools, church schools, and rural community colleges. Your kidding yourself if you think your getting the same education at a local community college as you are at Harvard or Yale. Whether a given student will make use of the added resources and opportunities is a different issue.

The biggest difference I see is with resources, access to / quality of professors, and support for research as an undergrad. For research based graduate work the ranking alone doesn't mean anything, but the ranking of the department certainly can. For professional graduate work (MBA, Law, Medicine) rankings can mean better opportunities afterwards due to better recruiters, etc.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 01:06 PM

18. For one of my "social sciences," I took a semester of anthropology.

The professor was SO good and SO engaging, I almost changed my major to anthropology. I later found out that he became one of the foremost anthropologists in America. I can believe it. Anyone who took more than one semester with this guy would have to have come away convinced that there is no field more important or interesting than Anthropology.

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