The College Cheating Scandal
So I have been sort of following this college cheating scandal. Kind of...barely...ok, not really following it all. A couple of fucking celebrities and 16 other people have been indicted by the Federal Government for bribery, fraud, mail fraud, and a bunch of other charges relating to using their wealth to guarantee their children admission to a few of the nation’s premier colleges.
I haven’t really been paying attention. Nope. Not outraged or flabbergasted.
See, here’s the thing. Rich people buying their kid’s way into college is not news. Not even a little bit. Rich people have been bribing and cajoling and circumventing the college admission system since the beginning of fucking time. Everyone knows about it. And everyone has just understood that being rich afforded certain privileges. It’s the American way.
So, I didn’t really follow the story. Until today, that is.
And to be honest, I am shocked. And I am outraged. And I am fucking flabbergasted. But not for the reason you may think.
I am shocked, outraged, and flabbergasted because we still allow universities to dictate to us who does and does not get admitted?
No, seriously. Why do we allow universities to tell us we are or are not good enough to pay them astronomical sums of money to educate us?
I understand that the application process to universities used to be very competitive back in the day. There were only so many slots available, and not that many schools around. Also, there used to be a prestige factor when earning a degree. Some schools were looked upon by employers more highly than others.
But that shit is in the past. This is 2019. Nobody gives a fuck where a person’s degree comes from anymore! We turned that corner with the advent of online education. And now there are literally thousands of institutions of higher learning begging for our dollars.
So why the fuck are we still allowing universities to tell us who can and cannot attend? That shit doesn’t fly in any other business. Why do we allow it with schools?
Imagine if Hardee’s had a screening process you had to go through before eating their shitty burgers.
Imagine if Walmart decided you had to write an essay before being allowed to shop there.
Imagine Home Depot requiring a personality test before allowing you to buy their lumber.
Imagine Nike only allowing select people to buy their shoes.
Ridiculous right? We would never allow a company to dictate whether or not we can give them our dollars.
So, again I ask. Why the fuck do we allow universities to decide whether or not we can pay them to teach our kids?
Why do we allow it?
Because a school is different? Is not an institution of higher learning a business? I think it is. I think Harvard is a business. I believe that Yale is a business. I am of the opinion that all universities are about making money.
Harvard’s President made $908,000 last year. Yale’s President made over one million dollars last year. But, they’re not even close to being the highest paid.
Kenneth Starr of Baylor made nearly $5 million. James Ramsay of Louisville $4.3 million.
So the Chief Executives are making CEO money.
Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri annual tuition $20,936. I think we can all agree that Columbia College, while being a fine school, is not overly prestigious.
Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island annual tuition $64,566.
So, the product is priced according to desirability.
Harvard has an endowment of over $35 billion dollars. They have an operating budget of over $55 billion annually. And they have a cash flow of around 8% annually. They fund research and profit from patents and licensing. They charge a premium for their product. They employ the best they can find in their respective fields. Harvard also pays no taxes.
So, the balance sheet reads like that of a thriving business.
My point. Universities are merely a business. A business like any other business. They are multi-billion dollar corporations. They come complete with boards of directors, stakeholders, profit/loss, EBIDA, and overhead.
Universities are in the business of making money. And somehow they convinced you that their product is worth competing over. They have convinced the world that what they have to offer is not only worth competing over, but worth lying, stealing, and committing fraud to get.
What do you suppose would happen if everyone had a moment of clarity and realized that one business degree is just as good as another? Because it is. In 2019, employers do not care about the school you went to. They only care that you have the degree. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that having a Harvard education can actually hurt you in today’s employment climate.
There are two applicants for an entry level executive position at Acme Brick Corporation.
Bob was educated at University of Missouri.
James was educated at Harvard.
Bob and James have identical GPA’s and matched perfectly on company assessment tests. They both performed equally well in the interview. Who gets the job?
Bob from Missouri gets it every time.
Why? Because Bob isn’t Ivy League. Bob isn’t going to try to command an Ivy League salary. And Bob does not have the Ivy League sense of superiority that James would most likely have.
Bob, from good ‘ol Mizzou, gets that job.
We are the consumer. We dictate demand for products. Starbucks can charge $8 for fucking coffee because we have put them on a pedestal. Harvard can charge $68,000 for tuition because we allow them to.
The time for allowing schools to pick and choose who they allow to pay them has passed. Those days are over. Now is the time of the consumer. Now is the time where we have the buying power and the options to say “No. We are not going to pay all of that money.” But more importantly, we have the power to tell these universities that they can kiss our collective asses with their admissions standards.
Tufts requires a 3.8? University of Phoenix requires a 2.5.
Harvard may or may not accept you if not able to pay out of pocket? University of Missouri has financial aid counselors on staff to find the money you need.
USC requires 2-4 years of foreign language? University of Arkansas waived that requirement 5 years ago.
Penn requires a 3000 word essay? Western Governors doesn’t even require a fucking test score.
Make these bitches compete for your dollars just like you make Walmart and Target compete. Just like you make Apple and Samsung compete. Just like you make Taco Bell and KFC compete. If we make them work for our money, costs will come down and admission standards will become realistic again.