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Discussion » Questions » Life and Society » People work hard to become successful so they can help their kids get into good schools. How is that wrong or a crime?

People work hard to become successful so they can help their kids get into good schools. How is that wrong or a crime?

Posted - April 9


  • 23750

      Who has said it's wrong or a crime?

      April 9, 2019 5:31 AM MDT

  • 5702
    Hi Randy. I read on here that people are being prosecuted for giving money to colleges to help their children get in. 
      April 9, 2019 5:42 AM MDT

  • 23750

      That's an inaccurate and incomplete thumbnail sketch of the situation: some people have been caught paying bribes and cheating on tests in order to bypass fair college entrance procedures.
      April 9, 2019 5:46 AM MDT

  • 5702
    But any contribution can be seen as a "bribe". My husband and his ex gave money to colleges their girls went to and still do to one of them.  How do they cheat on tests?  What if your kid did not test well?  Look just doesn't make sense to me with so many colleges going bankrupt they would need to do that kind of thing. I did not go to college and did not finish high school even.  I guess if I have any axe to grind it is why people think going to college is all that vital at all?  I can understand courses which prepare you for particular things - which most of them don't do. 
      April 9, 2019 5:57 AM MDT

  • 4426
    They were found to have paid people to either take SATs for their kids or to correct answers to boost the scores. Not kosher at all.
      April 9, 2019 9:24 AM MDT

  • 3455
    Personally I can’t imagine a better use of one’s wealth than to assure educational opportunities for our children. Support the child’s efforts and dreams without greasing the rails with money in lieu of the child earning the opportunity on their own merits. 
    I think the optics are bad if large contributions are made to a school prior to the donor’s offspring applying to the school. Afterward seems more ethical, IMO. 
    What we saw in the recent scandal was outright fraud. This post was edited by Don Barzini at April 9, 2019 10:21 AM MDT
      April 9, 2019 6:31 AM MDT

  • 5702
    Success is success and if we decide to term it "unearned" aren't we making a value judgement?  One generation works hard and accumulates wealth, the next gets the wealth but spends it and they end up with nothing.  Which is not "success" to me.  Everyone has some abilities or at least potential abilities which do not necessarily manifest themselves in an academic environment.  I've never believed that everyone must go to college. Are other forms of education more practical.  And almost anything college offers they can learn on their own if they take the time and the trouble. 

    Please explain the "fraud".  I know they hired people to take tests for them. But then when my husband was in school years ago he and others used to be hired to write papers for people who were not so good at that. That was always a big market in the late 70s, early 80s. 

    In general the way I am looking at it is that colleges need money - they are closing right and left it seems.  So I guess they would welcome whatever they can get from people who have it to give. 
      April 9, 2019 6:47 AM MDT

  • 3455
    I changed my post to further clarify my point.
    What I previously referred to as “Unearned” success is that which is handed out or provided directly from someone else‘s efforts. Not gained by one’s own achievements. 

    The fraud(s) occurred when tests were ”corrected” by someone else (who got paid) to raise the child’s grade to a higher score and submit it as the child’s work. Also admitting students under false pretenses, like including them on sports teams in activities they have never participated in. In the now famous cases, large sums of cash unfairly influenced these admissions. 

    I do agree that universities are not suitable for everyone, but could not disagree more with what you say about ANYTHING college offers can be achieved on one’s own, absent higher education. I have two graduate and one post-graduate degrees, and I can tell you without question college made my success possible. 

    You’ll find real colleges aren’t closing right and left, it is the fly by night charlatan schools that are. I do agree college is way overpriced, and unfairly so. This post was edited by Don Barzini at April 9, 2019 10:22 AM MDT
      April 9, 2019 7:07 AM MDT

  • 5702
    They paid someone to change the scores?  That sounds very inside - not sure how they managed that.  Seems to me if they were playing sports they never participated in  that would make the college look bad because the teams would  not do as well.  But as a private institution wouldn't that decision be theirs to make? 

    I would say not all success is gained solely by one's achievements. Nor do achievements necessarily guarantee success. There are many factors which can come into play.  But nonetheless if we consider that part of our achievements consist in learning how to do something and part consist in doing that something then yes of course.  Something in my upbringing - some understanding I got from the neighborhood in which I grew up and from my parents - prepared me for corporate life.  Something which many other people did not have for whatever reasons.  But I would say as well that getting along with people was as important because both my bosses liked me and had patience with me while I learned.  Which perhaps took me longer than it would have some people. 
      April 9, 2019 7:30 AM MDT

  • 9233
    I think you haven't educated yourself sufficiently on what is going on in these cases, which would negate some of your arguments.  The kids who were admitted because they were thought to be on a sports team in high school did not play those sports and were not going to be on the teams in college.  The kids whose test scores were "corrected" to make them eligible for admission when they weren't really that smart, take places away from students who ARE smart and who DO work to achieve educational success.  Imagine your child being worthy of a spot in a college because of their own hard work and achievements being denied admission because someone with a lot of money bought their kid's admission when their kid had not achieved the same level?  
      April 9, 2019 10:28 AM MDT

  • 1524
    It's only wrong when someone .. successful or not ... tries to use their influence (whatever that might be) to get their kids into a school and bypass the normal acceptance procedures IMO.   Just because your parents have money or fame doesn't necessarily mean their child deserves to benefit from their success.

    Kids need to succeed on their own so they truly appreciate what hard work can give you.  Our son worked his tail off to be accepted into a really great university.  He went through all the "hoops" and did all the prep work they required.  He earned his acceptance and the scholarships he qualified for along the way.  
      April 9, 2019 9:16 AM MDT

  • 37315
    This is a JOKE right?  You are trying to trick me?  Where is the trick?

    I work to get my child in school and get a good education.  I work hard. My child works hard.

    Then an entitled BITC* with no conscience thinks she has more right to this place in the school than MY child.  WHY? Because she is rich and can pay the right people.  So, her child, who has done less than my child has done, gets into the school that my child deserved to get into.

    How tough is this to grasp?  
      April 9, 2019 9:20 AM MDT

  • 3386
    Seriously. It isn't at all difficult to understand why this is wrong.

    Nothing wrong with donating, nothing wrong with giving your child some help and guidance.

    Everything wrong with cheating, lying, and bribing.  This post was edited by Nevan B at April 11, 2019 9:39 PM MDT
      April 9, 2019 4:45 PM MDT

  • The key, as I see it here, is "work hard". You can work hard to achieve positive and constructive results that people can look back on with pride because it was accomplished within the parameters of legal regulation and ethical standards. On the same token, one can "work hard" to carry out felonies, or to be motivated by greed, avarice  and contempt.  Our society is one of entitlement at the detriment of everyone else. There's plenty of guilt to go around because people usually act on what they've been taught, which is in many cases,  nothing.
      April 9, 2019 9:40 AM MDT

  • 2752
    It's not, unless...

    One uses that money to pay others to take (and pass) the SAT's for their kids.
    One uses that money to grease palms of school officials so that their kids can get in ahead of others who are more qualified, but not wealthy.
    One uses that money to make their kid appear to be something that they're not (such as expert archer when in fact they've never touched a bow and arrow in their entire life).
      April 9, 2019 3:20 PM MDT

  • 3386
    And what about the hard work of the kids themselves? What about the kids who don't have wealthy parents to "help" them?

    The children of wealthy people are not entitled to attend a selective school regardless of their abilities or talents. Wealthy parents are not entitled to bribe, cheat, and defraud the system to get their under-qualified children into these schools. Of course the blame does not fall solely on the parents, but also on the coaches and university employees who accepted bribes and participated knowingly in the fraud. And I feel sorry for any student who was unaware of their parents' scheming, but those who participated themselves deserve to be expelled from the school (which has already happened in some cases, a girl who lied about sailing achievements on her application was recently expelled from Stanford).

    The real misfortune is that this has been going on for a long time and it took this long for it to be exposed. 

    As someone who was accepted the honest way, earned two degrees, and now works at a university, I feel very strongly about this. This post was edited by Nevan B at April 11, 2019 9:41 PM MDT
      April 9, 2019 4:55 PM MDT

  • 14454
    Nothing wrong as long as the kids  own work is what gets them in. 
      April 9, 2019 5:49 PM MDT

  • 11169
    They can help their children prepare to achieve their potential.  That's it.  They can't help them get into school.  Students must do that on their own.
      April 9, 2019 6:23 PM MDT

  • 37315
    Thank GOD they did not aspire to make their kids doctors. But I'm sure there are morons who have paid to have their kids do just that.

      April 10, 2019 1:42 AM MDT