Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

WSJ: ‘Father Is Surgeon,’ ‘1 Mil Pledge’: The Role of Money In USC Admissions

Wall Street Journal, ‘Father Is Surgeon,’ ‘1 Mil Pledge’: The Role of Money in USC Admissions:

USC Logo (2019)Emails among athletics, admissions and fundraising officials at the University of Southern California show the school explicitly weighed how much money applicants’ families could donate when determining whether to admit students.

The messages were filed Tuesday in a Boston federal court by a lawyer for two parents accused in the nationwide college-admissions cheating scandal. He claims USC wasn’t a victim of any scheme, but rather based admission decisions in part on expectations of donations from well-heeled families.

They include intricate spreadsheets color-coded by university officials to track “special-interest applicants”—applicants flagged for their connections to USC officials, trustees, donors or other VIPs—with direct references to past and prospective dollar amounts of gifts from their families.

Also included are email exchanges about specific candidates whose qualifications were portrayed as questionable by admissions and other officials but whose family ties and bank funds won out.

“VIP” students were described in spreadsheets with references like “given 2 million already,” “1 mil pledge,” “Previously donated $25k to Heritage Hall” and “father is surgeon,” the filings show.

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Tacky and grasping, perhaps. But worse than bending academic standards for athletes who'll at best distract their classmates, not subsidize their education?

Posted by: Anand Desai | Sep 4, 2019 3:27:22 PM

Do any of these airheads (Olivia Jade for instance) ever flunk out of these "elite" universities? Says a lot about the value of the degrees they produce there.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 5, 2019 8:02:10 AM