Tag: Colleges and Universities

A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On

An intellectual rock star, Nicholas Christakis has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard and, since 2013, Yale. He has done trailblazing work — distilled in a TED talk, of course — on how our social networks shape us. All of the most esteemed academies that validate scholars’ brilliance have validated his. In 2009, Time […]

Read More

Admissions Scandal Stokes Hard Questions on Recruited Athletes

A dozen years ago, the University of Washington barred athletic coaches from having contact with anyone in the admissions department. With a move that now seems prescient, administrators sought to allay any concerns that coaches could put undue pressure on admissions personnel, while also bringing more oversight to athletics, in this case through a committee […]

Read More

How Not to Be a Snowplow Parent

Many of us watched the college bribery scandal unfold last week as a kind of nationally televised master class in how not to parent a teenager. But even many well-intentioned parents fall into some of the same patterns as the wealthy parents charged in the case: removing obstacles to ensure that their children don’t have […]

Read More

The Conversation: The Kids Aren’t All Right

Gail Collins: Bret, as always we’ve got a lot to talk about. The mass shooting in New Zealand, of course. But perhaps we can get started with something less painful. Everybody’s been talking about that college admissions scandal. What’s your take? Bret Stephens: We definitely should get to talking about the terrorism in Christchurch, not […]

Read More

The Cruel Irony of ‘Free’ College Promises

For the past week, America’s fleeting attention span has been captured by the sprawling college admission bribery scandal unveiled by the Justice Department, sparking talk of how untold numbers of the wealthy and famous use fraud to get special treatment for their children, in a supposedly meritocratic system. The revelation of this particular scheme comes […]

Read More

Durham Dreamed of a Transit Line. Duke University All but Killed It.

DURHAM, N.C. — Political leaders in one of the most progressive parts of the South have dreamed for two decades about an ambitious plan for a transit line connecting Durham, the home of Duke University, with nearby Chapel Hill. Funds were pledged and renderings were drawn. But in recent days, Duke, which has labored to […]

Read More

‘Pied Piper’ of College Admissions Scam Had All the Answers

He was part coach, part therapist, part motivational speaker and part name dropper. Like a traveling salesman, he sought out clients near and far, selling dreams of prosperous futures. In central Illinois, William Singer made a passionate pitch to local business executives who came by invitation to a hotel meeting room. In Sacramento, he addressed […]

Read More

‘I Put My Work In’: Honest College Applicants Await Their Fates

The college application process, for those staying within the rules, is one long and maddening lesson in the limits of control. Study hard, make the sports team, detail the family financial situation and then … sit and wait. That this nerve-racking powerlessness could simply be bought off is among the most galling parts of the […]

Read More

The Scandals of Meritocracy

In the last year elite college admissions has been touched by three different but related scandals. The newest one is also the most entertaining, because it includes pretend water polo players, staged standardized tests and outright bribery, all to help desperate rich people and TV stars buy their progeny into a top-flight school. The other […]

Read More

The Moral Wages of the College Admissions Mania

I once asked a longtime guidance counselor about her least favorite part of the college admissions season, when students learn if they’ve been accepted by the schools of their dreams. She said that what pains her aren’t the rejections: There are so many of those, they’re an inevitable part of the process and the kids […]

Read More

College Admissions: Vulnerable, Exploitable, and to Many Americans, Broken

Standardized test scores are manufactured. Transcripts are made up. High-stakes admissions decisions are issued based on fabricated extracurricular activities, ghostwritten personal essays and the size of the check written by the parents of the applicant. [The college admissions scandal has raised a lot of questions. We’ve answered them here.] American universities are often cast as […]

Read More

Status Anxiety and the Scam Economy

Scammers and cheats are the paradigmatic figures of our age, and not just because a con man is president of the United States. Again and again in recent years, people who’ve scaled the cultural heights have been revealed as audacious frauds. The systems and institutions that confer status in our society keep being exposed as […]

Read More

How Much Does Getting Into an Elite College Actually Matter?

ImageThe University of Southern California was one of the colleges that became enmeshed in the recent bribery scandal. CreditFrederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Was it worth it? The celebrities and C.E.O.s arrested in this week’s college bribery scandal were charged with paying up to $1.2 million for guaranteed admission to elite universities. And […]

Read More

College Cheating Scandal Shows a Standardized Test Isn’t Always a Fair One

For parents desperate to boost their children’s SAT or ACT scores, the test preparation company Student-Tutor offered an enticing solution: claim a learning disability and qualify for extra time. “This time advantage can help raise their scores significantly!” the website blared. “Some students have even reported raising their score by as much as 350+ points!” […]

Read More

Bribes and Big-Time Sports: U.S.C. Finds Itself, Once Again, Facing Scandal

LOS ANGELES — On the palm-tree-lined campus of the University of Southern California this week, a tour guide proudly pointed out to prospective students the university’s six Heisman football trophies and award-winning faculty, testaments to the stellar reputation the school has fought hard to build. What the guide didn’t mention was that U.S.C. had emerged […]

Read More

‘Do Your Children a Favor: Develop Some Real Values’

Gross class privilege, the repression of meritocracy and the hypocrisy of supporting affirmative action are just a few of the concerns raised by Opinion readers since Tuesday’s college admissions scandal broke. We received more than 4,000 comments on our coverage, which included Frank Bruni’s column, “Bribes to Get Into Yale and Stanford? What Else Is […]

Read More

The 145-Pound Long Snapper and Other Tales of College Admissions Puffery

The ruse was oddly simple. Since college coaches can often recommend more athletes to the admissions department than a team needs, why not buy a few slots from the coaches and sell them to parents desperate to get their children into the most selective universities? Perhaps the most remarkable thing about William Singer’s scheme was […]

Read More