The Strange College Admissions Scandal, privilege, and other college news.

by Bethany Goldszer | Last Updated: March 26, 2019

This month, I have rounded up college admissions articles worth reading.

The college admissions scandal is absurd.

In The Atlantic, writer Alia Wong says, “fraud and bribery are shocking, yes. But fraud and bribery’s lawful cousins—legacy preferences, athletic recruitment, and other admissions practices that lower the bar for progeny of the rich and famous—are ubiquitous.” Wong shares what many of my college admissions colleagues and I already know: the admissions process favors wealthy students, those who have extraordinary athletic ability or are famous. Just take a look at the economic demographics of the country’s top 50 schools. Income-wise, you’ll find more students from the top 1% than the bottom 10%. Say, for instance, if a parent has the means to invest $10,000 in their child every year, from kindergarten until 12th grade. They pay for private tutoring, coaching, music lessons, sports teams, and so on. As a result, their students are further ahead in making an impression on admissions officers. What’s strange is that the parents implicated were already favored in the college admissions process by being famous and wealthy. Why they resulted to bribery — doesn’t make any sense.

The NYC high school admissions process is broken.

Stuyvesant High School admitted only seven black students into next year’s incoming class. In Vox, public school teacher Jose Vilson argues that segregation in NYC public schools has reached an all-time high. A primary culprit in perpetuating institutional racism in the City’s public schools is the Specialized High School Admission Test, the only deciding factor in where a student attends high school. There are 4,798 slots available at the City’s top specialized high schools. Only 190 or 3% were filled by black students, while 25% attend city schools.

Focus on college graduation rates.

In spite of the hysteria generated by the college admissions scandal, most schools are within reach for the majority of the nation’s high school students. A classic move, the media has sensationalized the scandal so that we’re so focused on reforming a system that impacts a small portion of students. As the New Yorker’s Lehman writes, “No change in whom the most selective colleges admit would have a fraction of the good effect on the country that increasing the proportion of college graduates would have.” So many students make it to college but struggle to graduate. If we want to choose a battle, it would be on raising graduation rates.

Don’t point fingers, Dr. Dre.

Meanwhile, TMZ reports that Dr. Dre posted on Instagram a picture of himself and his daughter holding her University of Southern California acceptance letter. Later, Dre removed the posting after fans reminded him that his charity had donated $70 million to USC.

While weighing admissions offers, other college costs to consider.

I recently was quoted in a HuffPost article by Geoff Williams, discussing an often overlooked cost when considering colleges.

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Bethany Goldszer is top college admissions and financial aid expert. She's been featured in HuffPost, USA Today, Newsday, Queens Gazette, and Official Black Wall Street & voted Best of Long Island. Faced with the overwhelming stress of applying, getting admitted to and financing her University of Chicago education, she started Stand Out College Prep LLC in 2012 so that no student or parent would have to go through this process alone. Over the last 15 years, Bethany has worked with over 1,500 students, helping them and their parents get into their top choice colleges and secure more than $20M in financial aid and scholarships. And each year, she continues to help more students stand out in the college admissions process and their parents navigate financial aid and scholarships.