The College Admissions Scandal Gets Personal for Me

When the college admission scandal broke and the colleges involved in this criminal conspiracy were revealed, I shook my head and said, doesn’t affect me or mine. Wrong!

Almost five dozen rich people paid college administrators, coaches, test-takers upwards of $25 million so that less-than-bright kids could get into prestigious colleges and universities by cheating, bribery and plain criminality by those rich people, coaches, and administrators.

First, of the colleges involved, the University of San Diego (USD) was prominent on the list. One of my nephews graduated from its law school. In my own experience, I recall a visit from a couple of parishioners who visited our home when I was in middle school asking for our family to “tithe” 10 percent of my step-father’s police officer salary to help built the University of San Diego, which, in 1954, was an empty wide space up a hill on Linda Vista Road. By the time I graduated for years later, the tuition to the newly-built University of San Diego was already more than my step-father earned in a year.

The University of San Diego (photo credit: Phil Konstantin)

Whenever I give a lecture at the University of San Diego now, I tell that story and it draws some laughs. Within the past few days, USD has raised its tuition to more than $50,000 a year.

Secondly, mention of the University of Southern California (USC), raised my hackles because one of my goddaughters had her heart set on attending USC. She had a brilliant six years of competitive soccer, school, and club behind her and she looked forward to playing major league college soccer.

She had a perfect all-A scholastic record, she had outstanding community service, she raised thousands of dollars to support a Central American orphanage and took clothes and necessities to the orphanage while other kids went to Cancun for spring break. She was and is the perfect accomplished student.

Her soccer reputation was such that the USC soccer coach invited her to a soccer camp for high school players graduating soon to evaluate them as potential USC players.

All that and USC turned her down. She is now starring at the University of California.

Why was she turned down? We don’t know, but we do know that that a USC soccer coach was one of the 55 conspirators in the college admissions scandal arrested for taking $200,000 in bribes.

This shattering scandal news comes as Harvard University is in court defending why Asian students, who on paper should be more than 40 percent of the Harvard University student body, are only 20 percent. 

This is not new to Harvard (and other prestigious ivy league schools). A hundred years ago, Harvard blatantly had a “Jewish quota.” Leading Harvard academics such as Samuel Huntington have spearheaded anti-Mexican smears from their lofty Harvard rooks.

When Sr. was a Harvard academic icon, Harvard had a “Jewish” quota.

Fortunately for Harvard, it is not involved in the “pay for admission” schemes exposed by the United States Attorney in Boston – so far. Hope it doesn’t, because I have a niece who graduated from Harvard two years ago. Unfortunately for Harvard, however, it has been unmasked for its illegal admissions policy that favors non-Asian students of the white persuasion.

In the meantime, millions of 17- and 18-year-olds are racing to the family mailboxes right now during spring break expecting to receive their notice of acceptance to the college of their choice (of the dozen or so colleges they applied to). 

Now, if turned down, they will wonder if they were turned down because someone else with money paid for phony test scores of the ACT or SAT tests, phony athletic career info, complete with photoshopped pictures, or conspiratorial athletic team coaches who recommended athletic admissions for kids who weren’t athletes, all because they were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make phony recommendations for slots on the team (water polo, crew/rowing, basketball, etc.). 

Not long ago, the United States Supreme Court slapped down critics of college admissions who thought it was wrong to consider race for college admission; it allowed it. It was embarrassing to see a white girl whine that she wasn’t admitted to the University of Texas because Texas allowed automatic admission to the top ten percent of the state’s student body to attend. She was turned down and had to go to another college. Boo hoo!

The same could be said about my goddaughter’s rejection by her favorite choice; she just had to go to another school. But –- her place may have been taken because rich parents bribed a coach to recommend their kid instead for the slot, despite the fact the kid didn’t play soccer or row in crew, or whatever. The difference was hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to the coaches.

College admissions need to be more transparent, as they were to a 17-year-old boy who was the first in his family to apply for college 60 years ago. He applied to nine colleges and was accepted by all of them. Because, however, he was the first in his family to apply for college, he didn’t know about out-of-state tuition, so he had to attend the college closest to him, a three-bus-trip-a-day – San Diego State College (now San Diego State University). 

It required 14 A’s and B’s in high school academic college prep subjects. No tests scores, community service, nothing but grades. Because he hadn’t decided for college until the second semester of the 10th grade, he made the grades in five semesters and was admitted. The requirement was in plain view; no amount of family money was involved, only 14 A’s and B’s. 

The ringleader of this national conspiracy has pled guilty; we hope that not only he goes to prison but all those rich people who paid $25 million to undermine the greatest higher education system in the world go also. 

 

Contreras is the author of THE MEXICAN BORDER: IMMIGRATION, WAR AND A TRILLION DOLLARS IN TRADE (Floricanto Press) and WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANTS (WASPS) & MEXICANS (Floricanto Press); he formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate

When the college admission scandal broke and the colleges involved in this criminal conspiracy were revealed, I shook my head and said, doesn’t affect me or mine. Wrong!

Almost five dozen rich people paid college administrators, coaches, test-takers upwards of $25 million so that less-than-bright kids could get into prestigious colleges and universities by cheating, bribery and plain criminality by those rich people, coaches, and administrators.

First, of the colleges involved, the University of San Diego (USD) was prominent on the list. One of my nephews graduated from its law school. In my own experience, I recall a visit from a couple of parishioners who visited our home when I was in middle school asking for our family to “tithe” 10 percent of my step-father’s police officer salary to help built the University of San Diego, which, in 1954, was an empty wide space up a hill on Linda Vista Road. By the time I graduated for years later, the tuition to the newly-built University of San Diego was already more than my step-father earned in a year.

The University of San Diego (photo credit: Phil Konstantin)

Whenever I give a lecture at the University of San Diego now, I tell that story and it draws some laughs. Within the past few days, USD has raised its tuition to more than $50,000 a year.

Secondly, mention of the University of Southern California (USC), raised my hackles because one of my goddaughters had her heart set on attending USC. She had a brilliant six years of competitive soccer, school, and club behind her and she looked forward to playing major league college soccer.

She had a perfect all-A scholastic record, she had outstanding community service, she raised thousands of dollars to support a Central American orphanage and took clothes and necessities to the orphanage while other kids went to Cancun for spring break. She was and is the perfect accomplished student.

Her soccer reputation was such that the USC soccer coach invited her to a soccer camp for high school players graduating soon to evaluate them as potential USC players.

All that and USC turned her down. She is now starring at the University of California.

Why was she turned down? We don’t know, but we do know that that a USC soccer coach was one of the 55 conspirators in the college admissions scandal arrested for taking $200,000 in bribes.

This shattering scandal news comes as Harvard University is in court defending why Asian students, who on paper should be more than 40 percent of the Harvard University student body, are only 20 percent. 

This is not new to Harvard (and other prestigious ivy league schools). A hundred years ago, Harvard blatantly had a “Jewish quota.” Leading Harvard academics such as Samuel Huntington have spearheaded anti-Mexican smears from their lofty Harvard rooks.

When Sr. was a Harvard academic icon, Harvard had a “Jewish” quota.

Fortunately for Harvard, it is not involved in the “pay for admission” schemes exposed by the United States Attorney in Boston – so far. Hope it doesn’t, because I have a niece who graduated from Harvard two years ago. Unfortunately for Harvard, however, it has been unmasked for its illegal admissions policy that favors non-Asian students of the white persuasion.

In the meantime, millions of 17- and 18-year-olds are racing to the family mailboxes right now during spring break expecting to receive their notice of acceptance to the college of their choice (of the dozen or so colleges they applied to). 

Now, if turned down, they will wonder if they were turned down because someone else with money paid for phony test scores of the ACT or SAT tests, phony athletic career info, complete with photoshopped pictures, or conspiratorial athletic team coaches who recommended athletic admissions for kids who weren’t athletes, all because they were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make phony recommendations for slots on the team (water polo, crew/rowing, basketball, etc.). 

Not long ago, the United States Supreme Court slapped down critics of college admissions who thought it was wrong to consider race for college admission; it allowed it. It was embarrassing to see a white girl whine that she wasn’t admitted to the University of Texas because Texas allowed automatic admission to the top ten percent of the state’s student body to attend. She was turned down and had to go to another college. Boo hoo!

The same could be said about my goddaughter’s rejection by her favorite choice; she just had to go to another school. But –- her place may have been taken because rich parents bribed a coach to recommend their kid instead for the slot, despite the fact the kid didn’t play soccer or row in crew, or whatever. The difference was hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to the coaches.

College admissions need to be more transparent, as they were to a 17-year-old boy who was the first in his family to apply for college 60 years ago. He applied to nine colleges and was accepted by all of them. Because, however, he was the first in his family to apply for college, he didn’t know about out-of-state tuition, so he had to attend the college closest to him, a three-bus-trip-a-day – San Diego State College (now San Diego State University). 

It required 14 A’s and B’s in high school academic college prep subjects. No tests scores, community service, nothing but grades. Because he hadn’t decided for college until the second semester of the 10th grade, he made the grades in five semesters and was admitted. The requirement was in plain view; no amount of family money was involved, only 14 A’s and B’s. 

The ringleader of this national conspiracy has pled guilty; we hope that not only he goes to prison but all those rich people who paid $25 million to undermine the greatest higher education system in the world go also. 

 

Contreras is the author of THE MEXICAN BORDER: IMMIGRATION, WAR AND A TRILLION DOLLARS IN TRADE (Floricanto Press) and WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANTS (WASPS) & MEXICANS (Floricanto Press); he formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate