Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Yale (and Scandal) Today

Photos by Salt Water New Engalnd
 Around Yale today, while:












































































46 comments:

  1. What is saddest is not what these parents ARE teaching their children (money can buy anything) but rather, what they are NOT teaching. Earning your achievements is always worth it and so much more rewarding. I'd take a state school degree that I earned over an Ivy league degree my parents bought any day.

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  2. How is this news? I thought this practice was common knowledge at these institutions.

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  3. @Anonymous # 2-- uhhh, your intellectually lazy cynical comment notwithstanding, no it's NOT common knowledge. I can tell you as a long-time alumni interviewer of prospective freshmen, this is most definitely NOT our assumption. Boola boola!

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    1. Is it possible that you are too close to the forest to see the trees? I agree with anonymous, this has been common knowledge to me since I was a teenager in the 70's therefore, I must be intellectually lazy as well. I would assume that this corrupt practice is more common today given how much more competitive society is. Need we wonder why good character has taken a backseat to image?

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    2. Point well taken that it's possible to be too close to the forest, Anonymous #2. I'm well aware of legacies (which I was not) and how a large check to "institutional advancement" can positively sway an application. However, I do think that one throws the proverbial baby out with the bathwater when one says "ALL seats are up for grabs." Were that so, there would be no room for non-legacies like myself who came in through the front door. Also, fwiw, comparing a large donation with the possible promise of admission to what's happened here, which is just old-fashioned fraud, is comparing apples to canteloupes. Canteloupes which, btw, are illegal.

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    3. "your intellectually lazy" - ah, I'm so glad that my family didn't have the money for an Ivy League education for me; I'd hate to think that I would have learned to belittle others in such a fashion.

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    4. "Despite its popularity, Boola Boola is not the official fight song"

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  4. As a Penn Graduate, the Ivy league is not an option to everyone anymore.
    Unless you make less than 40,000 or have so much money that you don't care how much you spend you cannot afford to go. They give zero aid on merit and all on financial need so the well qualified middle and upper middle class need to spend a total of about 300k to send one child their. That is totally insane.

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    1. A report some time ago an article alleged that "Ivy League" schools help to perpetuate inequity because wealthy people can better afford to send their children, perpetuating the legacy. Disturbing, since I'm a current PENN.SAS.LPS student. Bribery? Despicable!

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    2. Anonymous at 3/12 5:58 p.m. nailed it. Curiously, none of those who have commented have mentioned the role of federally-guaranteed student loans in driving increases over the last few decades. Such loans have thrown more money into the "pot," and have encouraged colleges and universities to build more buildings (including plusher dorms), hire more administrators (some of whom have been made necessary in order comply with various federal laws and regulations applicable to schools that accept federal money, which is nearly every college and university in the country), and raise tuition. I've yet to hear any other cogent explanation why the increase in the cost of a college education has outpaced the overall increase in the cost of living by at least double over the last 20 years. Oh, wait, I forgot the hefty salaries paid to college presidents these days and the huge salaries paid to college football and basketball coaches. (Yes, those sports generate income, but they would probably generate just about the same income were the coaches paid more modestly.)

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    3. $40,000 did I read that right?? That amount is borderline poverty these days

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  5. I'm shocked -- shocked!

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  6. Hold your water, ML. As a "long-time alumni interviewer," you of all people should be well-aware of "legacy" admits. Then there are the "development" admits, money now and more later. Only the naive think otherwise.

    Granted, the current "scandal" involves indirect bribes as opposed to direct donations.

    This is clearly wrong, and I am not defending it in any way.

    My understanding of Operation Varsity Blues is that three hundred FBI and IRS agents spent ten months investigating (secret recordings, etc.). The salaries and benefits of 300 agents for 10 months to prosecute fifty people who were willing to pay to get their offspring into a name school.

    I repeat: this bribery was wrong, and it is indefensible, but part of me wonders if the time, effort, and tax dollars might have been better used on something a little more threatening to our national security.

    I think some people might say that just about the entire college admissions process is broken. I suppose this is a symptom of that.

    I do not intend to spend much time, my life's coin, continuing to follow the details of this story, but it does strike me as a very sad example of what our current culture has become.

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    1. i agree that this is a symptom of how broken the college admissions process has become, and for that reason i think the investigation represents resources well spent. national security (for which other agencies than the FBI are also responsible) involves more than just guns. actual security is about systems working as their intended, and allowing citizens to believe in the rule of law.

      this cheating resonates with so many because virtually everyone in this country shares the experience of working hard and applying to college, or of being rejected, and/or having kids that we're trying to educate the right way, etc.
      i expect the ripple effects of this bust will impact many more than just the 50 people charged, but even if that doesn't happen, its going to make some institutions re-think some of their practices.

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  7. How can one be shocked when even the Presidency of the US can be bought.

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    1. For enlightenment, please see Rains, Claude.

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    2. RR- What?! I apologize for not knowing what Claude Raines has to do with this all.

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    3. I thought that was your intent.
      Robert, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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    4. "All things once are things forever, Soul, once living, lives forever."

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  8. Ah, yes. The conservative belief that a noble (cough-cough) ruling class will naturally arise among free people, or you just cheat and buy your way to nobility.

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    1. Conservative belief? Hardly. I suspect you mean “meritrocratic”.

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  9. For Rains, Claude, please see Gielgud, Sir John, " I think he failed and went to America."

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  10. I always enjoy your pictures of YALE, thank you, and hope too visit some day. Some of the gargoyles seem reflect the current news. I am a student at PENN, completing a degree that in a sense was interrupted by a family business. I worked hard to graduate from a 2 year college (that took me more than 2 years), Cum Laude. I wanted to go to PENN because that's where the discipline of psychology I wanted to study began. My courses are pay as you go, no big money here. I have a classmate who comes from New Haven, but she choose to go to PENN, go figure.

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  11. I think this is interesting, the whole scheme/scam is sad but interesting. I am enjoying the comments very much, so let's see more. Thank you so much for the tour - very nice.

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  12. There is yet another untold story here. And it is the millions in commissions , fees and free hospitality and vacations of admissions staff paid for by the international student applications. Another ' common practice ' swept under the carpet and never exposed by NYT,WSJ or any of the eminent journalists who cover this area in depth.

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  13. Beautiful photos.
    The commodification of education can only be stopped by the schools. Good for them for supporting the investigation.

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  14. We shouldn't be shocked that USC is in the middle of this. Pete Carroll, Tim Floyd, Reggie Bush, Lane Kiffin and the forgetable Josh Shaw.

    I anticipate the NCAA will issue a stern letter to Pat Haden.

    David J Cooper

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  15. The rich get rich and the poor get children
    In the meantime, in between time
    Ain't we got fun?

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  16. CBC National news for March 12 compared USA schools to Canadian:

    Richard Levin, head of admissions at University of Toronto, said that is was unlikely that this type of corruption would occur in Canada due a system that lacks incentive to cheat. He said that they don't have standardized entrance exams like our SAT, don't have small exclusive schools like the USA and so they aren't making offers to the 4-5 percent of wealthy applicants and that athletics are not significant in Canadian universities.
    You can watch the full report: https://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/u-s-college-admissions-bribery-scandal-sees-50-people-charged-1.5054161

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  17. Nothing new here. Just greater complexity and exposure. Legacy is also a factor. Money does indeed talk. That said, individuals that buy their way in to a great school (and buy their way out)are not always well employed. Clearly they have the degree but not the skill. The same individuals do not stay well employed and often depend greatly on "connections" to keep their position. Susan

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  18. Oh, please. Wealthy families have been manipulating the college admissions process to select schools for a long, long time. It is not uncommon, at all, for the rich kids to enter through the back or side door rather than the front gate. These books are not recent, but they give one an idea: "The Price of Admission (Golden) and "The Gatekeepers" (Steinberg). I don't see how the current "scandal" is terribly different.

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  19. I think it was Bob Dylan who sang: Money doesn't talk, it swears.

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  20. SHOCK — rich people paying big bribes to get their kids into prestigious schools — o actually not shocked at all but the parents of Yalies got this letter -- "As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by a former coach who no longer works at the university. We do not believe that any member of the Yale administration or staff other than the charged coach knew about the conspiracy. The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward." Hopefully Yale will be as good as its word.

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  21. I agree with - Anonymous March 12, 2019 at 9:37 PM. - Yes, this definitely needs to be stopped and prosecuted but this story is on the front page of just about every daily newspaper. Maybe its a slow news day but this story seems to be getting a lot more attention than it deserves. Maybe we just like reading about ways of the rich and famous.

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  22. They just re-enforced our view here in Texas. Daddy has been buying Junior's or Sister's way into UT-Austin for years. I taught Junior and Sister. They didn't get into Texas on their academics.

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  23. So, over the past couple of years a few dozen wealthy, ostensibly well-intentioned, but unethical parents paid big bucks fees to a "consultant" to give the children they love a "leg up" unfair advantage in the college admission process. Quelle surprise. According to reports, these dangerous perps were arrested for this crime literally at gunpoint. At least, I now have a sense of the federal definition of racketeering.

    These parents' real "crime" may be that they were not quite rich, savvy, or connected enough to handle this on their own without the middle man "consultant."

    The Wall Street bankers who were never charged with anything for far far worse "crimes" must be laughing all the way to... well, the bank.

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    1. i suggest you read the details of the indictments (easily available on the department of justice website) before you so inaccurately and breezily dismiss what these people did.
      these were extremely wealthy people (some paid 1.2 million, another paid 6.5 million) who already had every advantage, and yet cheated in incredibly low-down and shameful fashion.
      these are kids who could easily have gotten into most schools, but rather than compete fairly, with everyone else, they paid other people to take tests, created fake "athlete" profiles, and disguised it all by pretending to "donate" to a nonprofit foundation for poor kids. its disgusting.

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  24. These are the hypocrites who march for equality but can't live it.

    Do as I say and not as I do!

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  25. It is a shame it has come to this but it has been going on for years maybe not this open with money but with titles and connections. I put SOME of the blame with society for having such a high opinion on a college education. As a degree holder, I think college is over rated. If "public opinion" did not hold these schools in such high regards would there be such a scandal?

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  26. This scandal breaks my heart. It will be the end of the "wholistic" evaluation of applicants. Harvard is getting sued and all the Ivies have lined up beside them. This "wholistic" approach gives the colleges maximum flexibility. I personally think that is good. I have interviewed 50 kids for the college of my choice and have gotten 2 admits. The two who got in were perfect. There might have been 10 but the college took 2. If Congress got involved because 90% of university revenues are government dollars, that would be a bad thing for the schools, and for the students. But government intervention is bound to happen. Lord Help Us. Let's try to preserve the magic for as long as we can.

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    1. Sounds like the magic disappeared a long time ago. What's changed is that we're all just finding out about it.

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  27. I have studied and taught at universities here and abroad. What concerns me about this scandal is how it will impact the perception of American education to international students who might otherwise decide to study here. This type of scandal only lowers the value of a degree from an American institution. America is already competing for international students. In 2013 the global education market was worth $4.4 trillion and growing. If American degrees are perceived as worthless or not competitive, we risk missing an important economic opportunity.

    What does this say about the institutions themselves? Are they so desperate for money that they accept cheaters while trying to instill values? What hypocrisy?

    Notwithstanding the above, but the sheer audacity of these parents believing that cheating is acceptable. If as many have already commented this type of behavior has been ever ongoing, what does this say about Americans. How many deserving students have lost an opportunity because of these very self-entitled parents? Does anybody wonder why the international community is not taking us seriously?

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    1. I don't think that it is so much about "the institutions themselves" but rather about individuals within those institutions who are weak and of low moral character, who are willing to accept bribes. That individual does NOT reflect the institution itself. There is always a weak link somewhere.

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  28. Interesting to note that it was said that a major improvement in SAT or ACT scores improved chances of acceptance, but athletic recruitment practically guaranteed it

    NCJack

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  29. apart from my personal interest as a white collar criminal defense lawyer, i think this resonates with the public because people resent the role that money plays in college admissions, legal (college counselors, test tutors, essay assistance, rich parents making large donations) and otherwise. this was one college counselor - there may be others who are similarly morally corrupt. finally, New Haven has rarely looked better than it does in these great photos.

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  30. So when they say, " It's the best education money can buy " they aint kidding !

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