shove all the this and that and specifics and reports to the side.
Letís just get right to the part that makes my brain turn into
a bit of a fireworks display, featuring mini explosions along
with skull-rattling dazed confusion.
is it possible, if you happen to be someone with five hundred
thousand dollars to spend, that you cannot figure out a legal
way to get your kid accepted at a college of choice?
at a level of mind-boggling.
if we have to cross into some sneaky sneaky, wink wink, two parties
understand the never stated though somewhat wiggling a toe in
the pool of ethical scenarios, I canít wrap my head around how
someone with money has trouble figuring out how to approach a
college or university in such a way that the FBI doesnít arch
an eyebrow and begin to wonder what might be going on.
on the schools involved, major university tuition is somewhere
in the range of $50,000-plus per year. USC? Estimates place the
current year at slightly more that $55,000. Stanford, right now,
clears $51,000. Providence College, for a different coast comparison
that shows we are in the same cost neighborhood all over the country,
is a tough figure to pin down though. Books and a place to live
can send those figures into a completely different orbit. School
supplies, student fees, travel expenses to get home for the holidaysÖ
it all adds up.
can round things off and still have an impressive numberó$50,000óthat
works for our essay.
letís say it just so happens that Iím a minor celebrity. (I know.
I know. Deal with it and stay with the story.) Minor celebrity.
Not necessarily on the paparazzi must-list or building a stable
of stalkers. Not making double-digit millions for every movie
and better than having to audition for most roles. But I am known
and trusted enough that my name might even get a green light for
some lower budget projects. And, Iím not going to need to find
any other employment to pay any bills down the road if I prefer
to stay in the house.
that level of notoriety sound like I should be able to arrange
a meeting with some university administrative uppity-up? And if
so, wouldnít it be equally likely that if Iím not looking for
on-campus housing and willing to pay perhaps two or three times
the recognized annual tuition rate, that I could navigate a discussion
in a way that gets my child accepted?
Thanks for seeing me. You know, Iíve always been a tremendous
admirer of Insert The Name University. Love the location, love
the campus, and you must be proud of some of the community projects
your exceptional students get involved in providing. As you
know, the arts are important to me. All of this is why Iím hoping
you can lead me down the path of setting up some sort of annual
scholarship fund. Maybe an endowment type of arrangement built
on a half million dollars to start? Oh yeah, and while weíre
talking, it turns out my daughter has always wanted to come
here to Insert The Name U. Yeah. Sheís a high school junior
now. Getting ready to start that college search with her. Do
you know anyone we can speak with about a campus tour?Ē
yes, I mentioned sneaky sneaky and wink wink earlier. Absolutely,
some of that would come through in a meeting where this kind of
a conversation moves along. Absolutely, many options come with
a toe in the pool of ethical scenarios (if not an entire leg under
the water). And for those of you wondering about the half millionÖ
well, in the only time Iíll mentioned actual names in this article,
Lori Loughlin is facing allegations of using $500,000 to get her
daughters into USC. So thatís where the pricing bar is being set.
letís hit the pause button for a second. I can hear people entering
e-mail account passwords, while muttering about how itís no wonder
I donít have an open comment section on my web site. Some are
rolling eyes and wondering what legal descriptions would be involved
because there have to be laws focused on my celebrity scholarship
plan. This and more is way off the path Iím looking to wind along.
I did not start this essay as a way of examining celebrity privilege
as the central theme. Nor is it a treatise on money overcoming
obstacles, with a section on vast wealth overcoming any obstacle.
Iím not asking you to view things from a perspective of breaking
laws and such. InsteadÖ
you were in a position where you had the ability to investigate
certain opportunities for kids while spending a large amount in
the process, why the heck violate federal laws and create falsified
athletic scholarships? And, if in that position, how can you not
come up with other approaches that just work.
way of looking at it: If the kid isnít going to row on the crew
team anyway, does it matter if you offered to pay double or triple
the annual tuition cost for four or five years to get doors opened?
The tuition, as I noted, is around fifty thousand per year. I
canít help but wonder, if you were able to secure meetings with
admissions and financial aid leaders of a school and in some fashion
provided some arrangement that equated to you being willing (and
able) to pay one hundred thousand per year, that someone wouldnít
being looking into ways to help make that happen.
what escapes me is that weíre discussing thousands upon thousands
(upon thousands) of dollars. And itís not the idea of privilege
thatís in play, itís how crazy do things have to be for it to
make sense in organizing how those monies will be used when the
following is involved? (Yes, yes, my words):
going to send the funds to accounts in foreign countries and
bring it back in using non-profit agencies for donations that
the IRS wonít be as likely to be alarmed by. Then, your kids
that have never been on any type of boat will apply for the
crew team at the school.Ē
we need to go on with the planning of this operation from this
point? And if so, sound the alarm because we have idiots in motion.
Really. One report I saw outlined that as an action shot to accompany
the athletic scholarship application, a picture of an applicant
on one of those home-gym rowing machines was used. And if thatís
accurate, thenÖ wellÖ wow.
are hundreds of branches on this particular tree, so to speak.
Plenty of reasons to be ticked off. Plenty of areas worthy of
investigation and consideration. I get why people are angry and
upset, and also see where the credibility of so many schools and
processes are in question. I;m asking for you to step away from
many of those, even if they are more significant in long term
me, at this moment and in one particular way, I canít help but
muttering ďidiotsĒ while shaking my head. Because, for lack of
a nicer summary, I donít know how you have the money to explore
so many options and still mess things up this horrendously.
is going to sound naïveÖ but letís do thisÖ in my opinion,
if an attempt to get a crew scholarship involves a photograph
of said athlete using a device on a concrete floor with no water
in sight, then we may have a scenario where you arenít using your
five hundred thousand to its best ability.