Colleges want and need kids from rich families

These days everyone is appalled by a recent story that showed us how many rich families get their kids in nice colleges by paving their way with money.  The general public likes to think all students should have an equal chance and be accepted or rejected solely on the basis of their academic records and test scores.  Unfortunately that's not the way our colleges have worked for a long time and they can't if they want to continue offering low cost educations to poor and disadvantaged students.


Colleges need money to run, and the amount they get is regularly dependent on how many rich kids they admit because it's the rich families that make big donations, not the poor ones.  They can only offer discounts to the poor if they take extra money from the rich.  We all know schools in poor neighborhoods are chronically underfunded, and those in rich neighborhoods are usually flush with money, that's why everyone wants to send their kids to the schools in rich neighborhoods.  With colleges it's not the neighborhood so much as how rich their students families and alumni are.


It's all about money, that's why most colleges give great scholarships to football players who are dumb as rocks and couldn't possibly get in college based on any academic contest.  That's also why they want kids from rich families, even if they are dumb as rocks, what the college really wants are the huge donations that make it possible for them to give huge tution breaks to lots of poor and disadvantaged students.  Without the rich kids, even the poor suffer because their kids can't afford to pay full price.


Gerrilea Added Mar 14, 2019 - 1:17pm
Rusty S--- I cannot agree. Why is the model for education one of profit?
They are not there to "teach" anything but to make as much money as they can, providing a meaningless piece of paper in exchange.
Western civilization stands on the precipice of self-annihilation. How'd we get to this point?  "The Trickle Down Theory" that gave tax breaks to the wealthy elite to move their businesses to slave-labored nations.  Leaving millions living paycheck-to-paycheck unable to afford to go college, let alone send their children.
The only economic escape is drug dealing, sports or entertainment.  Colleges knew this and focus mostly on "sports programs" to make them money.  Hell even Public Schools have gotten into that racket.
The "wealthy elite" raised entitled, lazy and nihilistic brats that stand as "beacons" for others to emulate.  "My money absolves me of any morality."
You need to do better with your argument that the wealthy elite and their money helps anyone but themselves.
I don't see it and haven't for decades.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 14, 2019 - 1:33pm
 Tuition has to be affordable for everyone, while colleges and universities should welcome poor and middle class students with financial aid and transportation and other services.
Passion Blues Added Mar 14, 2019 - 1:45pm
Yes sir I agree that colleges do need the money from rich parents: but let them donate a wing, fund a library or a media center. And they should do those things only after their children are let into the institution, after they have earned it on their own.
Jim Stoner Added Mar 14, 2019 - 4:15pm
With a few soon-to-be-extinct exceptions, both public and private higher education institutions are non-profit.   The private ones you could compare to a charitable foundation; the "profit" goes into the endowment.  The public ones depend on state governments for their cash flow. 
I agree in general with Rusty Smith:  without the wealthy parents' children, most of the private schools could not get by.  Still, the sticker price has increased unreasonably.  Their business model is in trouble; similarly, state support for public colleges has generally waned.  One of the US' greatest assets, our universities, is in the middle of a developing crisis.  Free education for all is not the answer, but both need a serious rethink of their "business" models. 
This particular scandal is just an extreme version of what goes on all the time, so in that sense, it helps illustrate the fundamental problems.  
Webmaster Added Mar 14, 2019 - 5:15pm
At YouTube, there are videos telling that diploma does not give a work but gives huge student loan. Moreover to pay this loan graduates don`t work according to dipoma but in fast food or tourism. No wonder that in comments under videos higher education is called a scam. There is no reason to get diploma in criminal justice and 50 thousand dollars of student debt so that to be a manager in tourism. The question of poor and rich students is no more than product of this system. To get any education, it`s really enough to buy some books, have Internet connection and library card. Going to university and paying there for lectures and seminars does not guarantee any true education.
Thomas Sutrina Added Mar 14, 2019 - 5:53pm
Rusty your totally correct.  But these rich parents were not playing by the rules.  The money they gave did not go into the college's coffers but into the pockets of employees never to be seen by the school.  Didn't help anyone other then the person getting paid off.  And in fact it since openings in sporting teams were lost they actually harmed the school.  
The rich give money to the college that fall into two groups.  Assigned use and open use.   The big money go into the assigned use.  Those are the donations that put building on the campus.  The other dollars are used to hire the over priced sports coaches.  Scholarships and other things that actually help other students that would not be going to the college.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 14, 2019 - 8:42pm
Gerrilea  I'm not saying colleges should be focused on "PROFIT", but I am saying the way we make them operate if they want to be successful financially most have to rely heavily on donations from rich families.  
There are other options, they could be totally funded by tax money, and tuitions, and not allowed to accept any other funds.  They could be forbidden from all money raising activities, like admitting any student whose documented scholastic achievement records don't meet published standards.  I'm sure the sports fans wouldn't let that happen.  As long as a football player whose dumb as a rock can get in, (because that helps provide vital funding), so should some rich kid whose family can easily dump $500,000 into the budget.  Until those schools get different funding plans, they need those rich kids families money.
How would you propose they get the money to subsidize the poor and disadvantaged students?
Rusty Smith Added Mar 14, 2019 - 8:45pm
Dino Manalis sounds like a great ide.
So.... if you stop the colleges from raising money by admitting rich kids for huge bribes, how do you propose they get the money to help kids who can't afford to pay for their own tuition?
College tuition at Georgetown is $87,000 per year.  If not for money taken from richer families, no poor students could afford to attend.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 14, 2019 - 8:48pm
Passion Blues your plan sounds nice but the families of rich kids, even those who are super athletes on the field, won't give the colleges a dime if their kids are not enrolled in the school.  Enrolling them is the first step towards soliciting money from those families.
How would you get that money from the rich parents of kids who are turned away from the college of their choice?
Rusty Smith Added Mar 14, 2019 - 8:50pm
Webmaster I agree, students who don't do well in college or get a degree in something useful in the career market are wasting their money if they think just being admitted will help them do better in the job market.
That is the equalizer no one else in this form has mentioned, getting in to a college is only the first step and doesn't guarantee anything.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 14, 2019 - 8:54pm
Thomas Sutrina  yes, as I said, the worst part is that the money didn't go into the college's general fund, which makes the crime one between dishonest people lining their own pockets, not a college policy problem.  
However it appears this scheme was hardly a secret.  I doubt they advertised on the front page but it seems to have been pretty common general knowledge and the accepted way to go for rich folks in those schools.  I find it hard to believe school officials didn't know it was happening.
George N Romey Added Mar 15, 2019 - 7:49am
The college business model is completely broken enforced by a bunch of over educated twits.  It's of a 1930s world.  Like any business college should be delivered with 21st century technology.  Instead we have campuses with luxurious amenities few students need and want.
Colleges need rich kids so that they can pay for all of this bloated crap that has very little to do with education, particularly providing job skills.  If college actually operated in a 21st century paradigm the cost would be significantly less.  College students do not need 10 state of the art volley ball courts.
But of course this is all part of the indoctrination of youth. Yes you too can become rich. No wonder these kids live in such a "pussified" world.  
Rusty Smith Added Mar 15, 2019 - 11:31am
Mogg Tsur private colleges do more fundraising but public ones do lots too and few don't make exceptions so they can enroll super athletes who wouldn't otherwise stand a chance competing academically for admission.  
What we have in this case is people empowered to recruit athletes and other desirable people whose academic flaws would have rejected them, so that the college do better financially.  If you believe doing that to recruit super athletes is justified, then the argument is not about how unfair this is to poor and disadvantaged students, but in defining when doing that should and should not be allowable.
In this case the people empowered started using their power to get people like super athletes who were not academically qualified admitted anyway, to enrich themselves.  The colleges own desire to keep what you might consider legitimate use of that power quiet, made it easier for them to do it without getting caught.  If he college had well defined processes and procedures for admitting super athletes who were dumb as rocks, they would have to admit they do it.  Letting it happen behind the scenes made it an unofficial act that allowed others in the college plausible deniability.
Alumnism is no different, and even in these cases the only real issue is that the people helping the rich families overcome the admission requirements were enriching themselves instead of the college.  
Personally I think  public institutions should not have ANY biases except standardized academic and testing requirements, much like is done in India.  Anyone with the grades and test scores can get  in, and if you don't have them you can be God's own son and not be admitted.
Yes I know that would mean most of their sports teams would suck because few super athletes would also have good enough academic and testing scores to make the grade.  Oh what a thought, students who actually attend college to learn might actually be playing against each other!  
Yes I know that would also mean that none of the money some schools get from parents making huge donations so that their kid can attend, wouldn't happen.  I know that would mean less money for supplementing poor and disadvantaged students, but if that's what you want, that's the price we'd pay.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 15, 2019 - 11:37am
George N Romey  Colleges don't need any of the fancy stuff, including many of the super over educated staff whose pay and benefits make it impossible for us to offer college educations to students at much more reasonable prices.
They also don't need super campuses, all they really need are fairly modern classrooms where teachers have what they need to teach.
By giving our colleges all the trimmings associated with affluence, we've driven the cost up to the point where only the affluent can afford to attend, oh and the poor too, who are highly subsidized by the affluent.  A huge slice of our middle class now consider a college education too expensive and not worth the debt they would have to sign up for in order to get it.
George N Romey Added Mar 15, 2019 - 2:06pm
Ask the typical college student why they are in college (other than the partying) and they will say to get a good job after graduating.  Ask a professor or college administrator and they do not believe it's their duty and the role of college to help graduates get a good job.  They are there to "educate."
Ultimately in a 2019 world rather than a 1929 world the expectations and reasons for a college degree are vastly different between the providers and the recipients.  Of course the professors and the administrators have secure good paying jobs.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 15, 2019 - 7:33pm
Mogg Tsur  I'm with you regarding the sports despite the fact that I was recruited from High School because I was good in sports (by a college coach), and know the preferential treatment I received made my life much easier than it would have been if I'd been forced to live within my immature and under developed academic ability at that time.  I never saw a value to excel academically until after I got in college and became very interested in the sciences.
Personally I think publicly funded college should be all about making students ready to excel at the types of jobs our country needs, and anything else including a football, or dance degree should be done at the students own expense.  If pro teams want skilled recruits let them select from high schools and train them themselves, don't pretend they qualify for an academic institution and then use them to win championships.
However even with that said I can't fault colleges that look for and take advantage of additional funds from sources that are outside their own internal funding system.  I love people who volunteer to pay for things my own taxes don't have to go up to pay for.  I love the Calif Lottery even though I have never bought a ticket and I love people who are willing to give a college another half million just so they can say their spoiled brat is enrolled there.  Lets get all this over and just be honest and transparent.  If little Ms. Rich Bitch wants to give a college half a million so her brat can enroll, why not?  Just do it above the table not under it.
wsucram15 Added Mar 15, 2019 - 8:51pm
Im telling you college is not like what most of you think today. I left not long ago and except for the law school I went to, a lot of it was online at the college or done via video.
Most of the frills you dont need, its the education you need and to be honest, the smart kids dont want it, they show up to not fail and complete course credits. 
Some try to learn, but most blow education off...and really are oblivious.  But they get that cap and gown.
John Minehan Added Mar 16, 2019 - 8:50am
What you say is true.  However, what sticks out about this story is that the scheme at issue short circuits this process and lines some private pockets, rather than contributing to an institutional endowment or a scholarship fund.  
John Minehan Added Mar 16, 2019 - 9:01am
In some ways, I understand it.
If you score well enough on, for example, the LSAT you can teach at Kaplan or Princeton Review Prep Centers on the side and make a bit of money on the side.  There is a whole test prep industry.  If your scores are really stellar (and predictable), I can see where you could make more money taking the test, rather than teaching the test.
However, given the coaches recruiting bogus athletes, aspect, how could they not know they would be caught?  Even sports (like Crew or Tennis) that don't bring in gobs of revenue have to not be cost prohibitive and have to be audited.
There is a lack of foresight here amid the cleverness.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 16, 2019 - 1:51pm
John Minehan they got far too accustomed to being able to get anyone in they wanted in a system that intentionally did not scrutinize the applicants they accepted so that the institution could pretend preferential treatment wasn't being practiced.
It's like the police captain pretending the police under him are not under pressure to write lots of tickets.  
Ward Tipton Added Mar 18, 2019 - 9:01am
Destroy and eliminate the border, pay everyone for doing nothing and allow each and every person to hide for free in a university safe space long enough to receive a degree in victimhood studies ... what could possibly go wrong?