Even Ordinary People Pay Bribes to Get Their Kids Into College

Celebrities like actor Felicity Huffman are in trouble for paying bribes to get their children into college with fake athletic skills and higher test scores than they earned. But class warfare in college admissions is simply a matter of degrees.

8 thoughts on “Even Ordinary People Pay Bribes to Get Their Kids Into College

  1. But class warfare in college admissions is simply a matter of degrees [Sic !].

    Not to worry, Ted – soon parents in the US with the necessary resources will be bribing people to get their children into the «right» kindergartens, as they do in East Asia. Ain’t «meritocracy» grand !…


  2. “But class warfare in college admissions is simply a matter of degrees.”

    The best possible compliment for a pun is to run from the room screaming while holding one’s nose.

    :: Runs from the room screaming holding holding nose ::

  3. There is an ongoing war to get in or stay top two or three percent around the globe…..many winners of the often rigged admissions game see themselves on higher plane than the rest of society. It is not so hard to cut wages and or benefits to the losers that graduated state universities or community collages, if you see them as lesser beings.

    From the Washington Post
    Chinese students use IV amino acids to study for high-stakes tests
    By Valerie Strauss May 10, 2012

    How’s this for extreme? Students at a Chinese high school hooked themselves up intravenously — with the help of teachers — to amino acid supplement drips to study for high-stakes exams in an effort to boost their performance.

    According to the China Daily , high school students at Hubei Xiaogan No 1 High School in central Hubei province were using the amino acids to prepare for university entrance exams in June, believing the supplements would give them energy and improve their memory.

    Teachers, trying to be helpful, helped rig the IVs to fixed iron wires in the classroom to hang the bags filled with the amino acids. And, the China Daily said, parents had asked the school to provide extra amino acids for their children, who were exhausted from school and studying.

    A 17-year-old student who would only go by the surname Chi told China Daily: “I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all… Students preparing for the college entrance examination at our school began to take infusions of amino acids years ago and some of them took them more than twice.”

    After this practice became public, the State Food and Drug Administration issues a warning about the misuse of nutrition supplements, the China Daily reported in another story .

    “As the entry exams for high schools and colleges draws near, parents should be aware of health risks of some nutritional supplements and avoid giving their children these supplements excessively or irrationally,” said a statement from the administration.

    The SFDA said it had never approved any nutritional supplements that “have the effect of improving IQ or cognitive efficiency.” Rather, it said that “good rest, proper eating and relaxation” would be more useful to students preparing to take exams.

    American students go to their own kinds of extremes to get ready for high-stakes exams, including taking prescription drugs that are meant for people with ADHD, to help keep them awake, and, some say, make them think more clearly.

    But IV drips? Let’s hope this method of test prep stays in China.

    • Alas, Oldvet, the odds are it won’t. The really damning thing here is not the actions by the students, who are desperate, but on the part of school personnel, who should, at least, have known that these infusions have no effect – other than possibly as a placebo – on students’ test performance….


  4. A somewhat minor point, but I do think it’s important. Huffman and the others, allegedly, bribed people with the expectation of a quid pro quo. Paying for some 20something to coach your kid on how to bubble in forms faster is hardly a guarantee.

    I notice that the upper-middle class always wants to settle for a second-best solution set. The 1% pay a lot, but they get what they pay for because they won’t settle for less.

    If the middle class–what’s left of it after 40 years of Reagan/Clinton/the other Clinton, the one who counts Kissinger as a role model/Obama/Cheney–knew what they were doing, they’d have forced all these damned schools to post minimum GPAs and SAT scores that were the hard borders: score lower, don’t even bother applying. And then do a lottery for those who qualified. If there’s 1,000 spots, and 2,000 people qualify, hey, kids, thems the breaks. You’ve got a 50/50 chance. That’s better odds than you are likely to get for the rest of your life.

    • On the other hand, Alex, with enough money and influence SAT scores (GPAs have already been fixed, which is reflected by the fact that they are higher in private institutions than in public ones) can miraculously approve, and lotteries deviate from pure randomness. As any tribologist can tell you, money in sufficient quantity is the best lubricant by far,…


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