Several people have asked me about the college admissions scandal, and all I have to say to that is MONEY CAN BUY ANYTHING. Of course this happens, and it happens more than people realize – especially at private institutions. The thing that is grosser to me is that these kids had access to every resource under the sun to excel academically, and they still could not. Yet they took another hardworking student’s spot because their parents have the money to go around the system. What baffles me are the number of people I see complaining about Affirmative Action efforts to expand opportunity to underrepresented students when it is the rich white kids who are actually stealing your kid’s spot. You are mad at the wrong system!
This is not an indictment of people with money. I know plenty of students who are from wealthy families who had tutors and all the support, but they also were not lazy. They know they had advantages, and they have not wasted those opportunities. Who would not want their kids to have the resources they need to succeed? The rub is the astronomical number of families who not only do not have access to academic support, but also have to watch their kids go to crap schools because our public education funding and structure is deeply inequitable. The system is rigged and racist.
Another issue is legacy preference which has historically benefited wealthy white people more than anyone else. In 2018 survey, Inside Higher Ed found that 42% of privates and 6% of state institutions consider legacy status in admission. On the other hand, it is not lost on me that people are calling for this system to be dismantled just as historically underrepresented populations are finally positioned to actually see their children benefit from the legacy system.
Someone responded to my Instagram ranting that I did not include Malia Obama as someone who benefited form a legacy system and that I had only included Republicans like the Trumps, Jared Kushner, and George W. Bush as examples of people who got into college without merit. I have no evidence that the Obamas paid for Malia to get into Harvard. Yes, both her parents are legacies and they are extremely powerful, but there is also no evidence that Malia is anything less than a stellar student. And if the legacy system gets more students like Malia into places like Harvard, then let’s do it.
There is evidence that the Trumps, Kushners, and Bushes made financial contributions that coincided with their child’s enrollment. When I have information that the Obamas paid for Malia to get into Harvard, then she can be added to the list of gross things rich people do.
This whole thing makes me so angry because these kids have EVERYTHING they need to succeed, and they still could cut it. They did not even want to be there!! None of these students deserve to go to these institutions. They have earned nothing. They are entitled to nothing. The idea that someone “deserves” the best simply because their parents are rich is disgusting. I will not get into my issues with the idea that some universities are the “right universities,” but UGH it’s so gross. It is all SO GROSS. And not surprising at all.
Abigail Fischer suing the University of Texas is the perfect example of this unbelievable entitlement. She should be mad at all the rich kids who got in because five generations of their family have gone there and there’s a building named after their grandfather. Also, she should have tried harder. Other students outperformed her.
I am all for Affirmative Action and admissions plans that are inclusive and aimed at expanding opportunity and access. It is the only way to move the needle on historic inequity. Students like Abigail could go ANYWHERE and they will most likely be fine in life no matter where their degree is from. I get that she really really wanted to go to UT, but life is full of disappointments. We are not owed or promised anything. Jared Kushner would have been JUST FINE without a Harvard degree. They are stealing from the people who have the most to gain from attending these institutions.
We are in a capitalist society, and there is nothing money can’t buy here. Quit voting for people who only protect rich people and screw the rest of us over. Lower and middle class white people should be SO PISSED about this. You are also getting screwed!!! Stop giving the power to scammers who protect other scammers. There are so many layers of inequity that I have no even touched on, but if you are angry that race is used in admission, then your rage is horribly misplaced. Also, if we had an equitable system where admissions actually reflected our population and there were not ways for rich people to scam the system, then we would not need these measures.
I work at a state institution in which over half of our students qualify for Pell grants (they demonstrate exceptional financial need) and the majority are first-generation. We do not have a wealthy student body, yet we still get calls from people who want to know “what it would take” to get their business partner’s under performing nephew into school. We accept 67% of applicants because we are designed for access. For reference, Stanford accepts 5% and the University of California, Davis (the closest UC to us) is 38%. We accept A LOT of students. Tell that nephew to TRY HARDER.