In College Admissions Scandal

Tomorrow marks the one-week anniversary of the massive college admissions scandal announcement. While the dust is obviously still settling, we see three early lessons, or takeaways.

First, testing accommodations will likely become even harder to obtain. This one hurts. For example, there are many college applicants with legitimate testing accommodation needs. They were already facing significant hurdles before this scandal broke. Unfortunately, we believe those hurdles will become larger. We hope we are wrong.

Second, we expect the selective colleges to form internal audit departments. In fact, we would be shocked if many were not already investigating previously admitted students for sports, art and music. Given the growing litigation, don’t be surprised if some colleges quietly terminate employees. However, we believe this would be a foolish option. Word would get out and the “cover up” may appear worse than the “crime.”

Third and finally, we are taking a contrarian view on the fairness of the current college admissions process. First, let us issue the following disclaimer. We don’t want to downplay the very real and significant issues the scandal has raised. Nevertheless, even if more indictments are coming, the high prices charged and the relatively small number of ‘bad actors’ shows that the country’s system isn’t nearly as corrupt as many others’. It appears some very powerful and influential people are heading to prison. Where they will serve sentences. Add in the social media outrage and distress to their families. You quickly see why this should make others pause about following their example. This too doesn’t happen in every country.

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