Feds uncover large scale college entrance exam cheating plot


Feb 2010
Think about that, and then recall that it was revealed that George W. Bush's grade point average at Harvard was a C-.
Ummm....GWB took his undergrad at Yale. And I'm not sure anyone is allowed to graduate with less than a 2.0, anywhere...think about it. Below a 2.0 after your sophomore year lands you on academic probation and thence out the door if you don't improve. That's standard throughout academe, no?

GWB did go to Harvard Business School, but have you ever seen a grad program that will maintain someone who collects more than one "C"?

I'm sure George was a mediocre student, but he had to get his gentleman's "C"s.


Former Staff
Jul 2014
The scams are private colleges and universities. Pretty much any undergrad degree from a traditional college or university, regardless of major, will increase a student's lifetime income. If you want to reduce college indebtedness, you should encourage states to increase funding to higher ed.
Not to nitpick but it was not just all private colleges. UCLA and the University of Texas were also named.


Council Hall
Sep 2014
I don't really 'buy' this argument. I have heard that there is so much grade inflation these days at Harvard that the AVERAGE grade there is an A-.

Let me say that again: The AVERAGE grade at Harvard is an A-.

Think about that.

That says that VERY few students 'flunk out' of Harvard. Once you get in, show up to a minimal number of classes, take the tests, and I guess you're gonna get a nice Harvard degree. Of some kind.

Think about that, and then recall that it was revealed that George W. Bush's grade point average at Harvard was a C-.

I am not sure about your experience but where I teach higher ed, if an instructor is giving out a lot of A's, administration will audit your class. That is a shame to hear about grade inflation from Harvard. Won't that eventually affect the reputation of the university?
Mar 2012
New Hampshire
Why do their kids need to go to a school they apparently aren't smart enough to get into? To make the right kind of friends or something? It's not as if the whole family is banking on this one kid making it to pull the rest of them up out of poverty.

Desperate times call for desperate measures I suppose, but these people aren't desperate. They're breaking the law, cheating and in a way, stealing, not because there's no other options for the kid's future, that's obvious. I'm wondering if the level of snobbery here runs so deep that the parents would be embarrassed if the kid went to a less prestigious college.

I'm telling you this kind of crap, along with the all the other instances of taxpayers being bled to feed the rich is starting to look very Marie Antoinette to me. And then you look at what the OP mentioned about real news and you see the budget is once again going up while cutting benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

I've spent my whole life at the bottom of the food chain, but until recently I never resented other people for their success. That's changing the more I see of the haves eating their beautiful chocolate cake while we drop bombs on poor people in other countries and those who have the most are only interested in using what they have to get more. We've got billionaires running the country and while Betsy De Vos mourns over the damage to her yacht, we're about to cut the education department by billions and now this.

America is losing it's soul. All there's going to be left for the have nots is jobs like mine and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
There is a video out this morning from one of actress Lori Loughlins daughters. On it she is saying how she hates school but is excited about going to college to "party and meet guys." I guess thats why she wanted to go to college.
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Mar 2012
New Hampshire
That is the issue. Just because you get into Harvard doesn't necessarily mean you will finish Harvard. You have to perform to stay in. If a student has to buy their way in and are not academically prepared, they won't be successful. I admire your chosen profession. You are serving humanity and that is a good feeling. You are also the backbone of healthcare...without you, no one can do their jobs. It would be a honor to be on your team...you have a good heart. :) I noticed that you are getting a new hip!! Hang in there...you will be doing the "floss" sooner than you think!!

True but for rich and famous kids they still graduate. The schools know they will be big donors to the alumni funds and give the schools money. The schools push them through. The rich even hire people to take tests for them and write their papers. They dont fail out.
May 2013
N Oregon Coast
This is bad, but I fail to see how it makes front page news. Rich people have been cheating and strong-arming to get their kids into schools where they probably don't belong for decades. Hell, Dotard JTrump is a notable example. Strings were pulled by Daddy Fred while money and favors were dangled.

All indications are that he was a horrible student - Of course as long as these gag rules on private rich kid schools exist, we won't be able to see that for ourselves.

Top of his class? BS - Not even on the Dean's List where there were 56 other students. :rolleyes:
Why Penn Won’t Talk About Donald Trump

I'll bet I could start a GoFundMe page and raise ten million to Trump's favorite charity (no not the Trump Foundation ;-) if he'll release his taxes and transcripts. He won't of course take us up on that - because he's a punk with too much to hide.

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Former Staff
Nov 2009
College admissions scam rekindles scrutiny of Kushner's Harvard acceptance, $2.5M pledge

WASHINGTON – The college admissions bribery investigation that led to charges on Tuesday against 50 people, including CEOs and Hollywood celebrities, has placed a new focus on how President Donald Trump's son-in-law got into Harvard.

Jared Kushner, who serves as a top aide to Trump, and his acceptance to the Ivy League school was investigated as part of the 2006 book "The Price of Admission" written by ProPublica editor Daniel Golden.

The book examined how the nation's wealthy buy their children into prestigious schools with tax write-offs and other donations. One such donation was made by Kushner's father, real estate developer Charles Kushner.
Is anyone surprised? It's not even a case of "how long has this been going on" because it's actually always been like this.


Former Staff
Jun 2007
There is a video out this morning from one of actress Lori Loughlins daughters. On it she is saying how she hates school but is excited about going to college to "party and meet guys." I guess thats why she wanted to go to college.
When I worked as a machinist for McDonnell Douglas, I met several guys who were refugees from countries like Vietnam and Cambodia. One guy explained to me how his family did things. They got sponsored by a pickle factory owner who basically used them for cheap labor, but they all worked and saved their money so the oldest brother, who had been a doctor in Vietnam, could get the schooling he needed to be able to practice here in the US. Then he opened a practice and helped pay for the younger kids to go to school, all the while the whole family is working and pitching and lift the others up and succeed.

When I think about these entitled celebrities who literally have people fighting to get to the front of the line to kiss their asses, all the advantages money can buy and still they feel the need to cheat it makes my blood boil.

Felicity Huffman is married to actor William H. Macy, a very talented guy who stars in a show called Shameless, that I love, involving a poor family in Chicago full of dysfunction and can't catch a break, even a son who is brilliant with a storyline where he's helping tutor rich kids to get into college and working in the cafeteria. Another subplot has to do with gentrification in Chicago's south side and the effects on long time residents.

Saw this the other day:

On a warm winter day in Los Angeles, old pals William H. Macy and John Wells, the star and the showrunner of Showtime’s longtime dark dramedy Shameless, are sitting in a conference room on the Warner Brothers Ranch studio lot, bitching about their daughters’ horses. “We bought a horse from South Carolina, and guess how we got it here? FedEx,” Macy says. “It cost a bleepin’ fortune. It’s now in Colorado because it had trouble with his feet, and I don’t know what the fuck is going on, so now we’re leasing another horse.”

Wells, who first worked with Macy back in the ’90s on a failed pilot called Mystery Dance and then a slightly more successful program called ER, totally understands the plight of that horse-dad life. “I spent years, every weekend, someplace eating tacos off a truck in the heat, the dirt,” while his daughter competed, he says. When her horse, now 17, ultimately retired to Wells’s “little place in Hawaii,” it first had to be sent for a few weeks to a mandatory quarantine in Northern California so as not to introduce any communicable diseases to the islands. All this talk of equine logistics “sounds ridiculous,” admits Wells. “These are rich people problems.”
Yes, they are. It's amazing to me that someone can be in a production that seems so on point and tuned in to the problems of the poor then leave the set and go have a horse Fedexed to his daughter and not think a thing about the disparity between the life he portrays and the life he lives.

How ‘Shameless’ Became TV’s Proudly Resilient Cockroach

Twitter is overflowing today with POC relating their experiences dealing with problems getting into college or being treated as affirmative action token students who are stealing a spot from perhaps a more qualified white candidate based on their race. It's heartbreaking to read, most of them are like "we already knew this went on", sadly cynical and not the least bit hopeful that anything will change due to it.

Years ago, I helped Abigail Fishers get into college in Texas. That was my job: I “tutored” entitled teenagers through the application process. Specifically, and ominously for my later life, I taught them to write a convincing personal essay—a task that generally requires identifying some insight, usually gained over some period of growth. And growth often depends on hardship, a thing that none of these 18-year-olds had experienced in a structural sense over the course of their white young lives. Because of the significant disconnect involved in this premise, I always ended up rewriting their essays in the end.

My students were white, and without exception. Their parents were paying me $450 per session, and this was Houston; of course they were white. The means were the essays, and the end was the assurance that the benefits of whiteness would continue to vest themselves even as Texas demographics and UT admissions practices began to put their lovely families in a bind.

Texas parents—as ability permits, and like parents throughout the country—pay good money to live in good school zones. These schools are “good” in a double and mutually reinforcing sense: they are academically vibrant, supportive, and competitive; they also draw from a wealthy population, which means most of the students are white. As Abigail Fisher’s case, a.k.a. Becky With the Bad Grades v. UT Austin, reminded us: the top 7 percent (formerly 10 percent) at all Texas high schools get admitted to UT’s flagship campus automatically. This means that a second-rate student at a first-rate school, a.k.a. an Abigail Fisher, does not automatically get in. This means that a portion of white kids don’t get the educational success those property taxes were supposed to pay for. The 10 percent policy is implicit discrimination against “good schools,” the party line goes.


White people remain uniquely able, in a monetary sense, to game the system. For a summer, at $150 an hour, I was paid to help.

And I did. The kids were sweet, and I knew how to elicit and identify whatever topic would make their voice speed up when they talked about it. We wrote about canoes capsizing at summer camp, about football injuries, about girlfriends freezing us out at youth group. For the most part, they got in where they wanted, and I worked a leisurely three hours a day, helping them cheat.

I’ve had a lot of relatively demeaning jobs in my life. I never thought I deserved better than any of them—first because I didn’t, and second, because a sense of entitlement means nothing without capital to back it up. I’ve waitressed in short shorts and cowboy boots. I’ve street-canvassed for recycling. When I was 16, I was paid minimum wage to participate in a reality TV show in Puerto Rico that included challenges like eating mayonnaise on camera with my hands tied behind my back.

This job—writing college essays for Abigail Fishers—was the only job I have ever been truly ashamed of, and I am so ashamed of it now that it hurts. I did it, too, for a particularly embarrassing reason: because it paid so well that I could keep my earning hours to a minimum, and for four months spend most of my time writing fiction so I could get into an MFA program. Once I did get in, my boyfriend started looking at me reproachfully when he came home from work and saw me sending invoices. “Stop doing this,” he said flatly, in the late afternoon one day.
A really good article about how the game is already rigged before this "side door" was created by Singer. Worth the read for anyone who thinks "class warfare" is without merit. People are mad at the wealthy for a lot of reasons, this latest revelation is just one more thing.


I keep thinking about the kids hired to take exams for the wealthy. Are they going to get in trouble because they needed money for school?

The whole thing is just very sad to me. There are so many kids out there who are plenty bright and have no backup, no "fixers", no encouragement and live day to day in precarious situations where their whole lives are at risk due to their environments. For them, a college education could change their whole outlook on life and show them a world they would never get to see otherwise.

What I noticed has changed a lot since the 80's and the return of opulence and glamour, where we began our collective journey towards idolization of the rich and famous is that we've become a nation who sees those without privilege as being a drain on society. Used to be the toughness and street smarts one acquired by have a less than ideal childhood could be used to succeed if one had brains and vision to go along with it.

Not anymore. One's pedigree and rolodex will get you farther than innovation or ideas and it's cemented more and more as time goes by as we continue to see dynasties that go on for generations and the kids aren't that spectacular but they are well connected so they get to start at the top and if they fuck that up, they have a golden parachute and endless backing and "people" they contact at a moment's notice who can pull strings or offer valuable advice. Worse comes to worse, you bankrupt your company, you are still assured to have a seat on the your choice of many board of directors where you make good money doing practically nothing.

It's just enough already. If anyone is wondering why AOC appeals to so many people, they need look no farther than this:

Life is good, hooray for you, you fucking cheater.
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