From the Huffington Post -
Dr. Michael Bardwil donated $40,000 to his alma mater, a Jesuit school in Houston, Texas, after a school administrator advised it would guarantee his son admission. So when his son was rejected earlier this year, Bardwil was upset.
ABC reports that a school administrator asked that Bardwil donate $100,000 to the school, and in return the prestigious college preparatory would offer admission to his son. When Bardwil pledged $50,000 over a five year period, he assumed it was a sure thing.
The elite colleges and universities admit about 1/3 of their students based on parental giving, another 1/3 based on legacy enrollments (their parents went there) and the last 1/3 on merit. This is one of the most significant reasons that the upper classes have solidified. It’s very difficult to move up in the world without going to one of these school. With only 1/3 of the enrollment based on merit, your children and mine have little chance of getting in. The open spots are so few, a student can’t get in on high scores but only with almost superhuman scores. That’s not fair.
We like to think this country is a meritocracy where you get ahead becaue you’re smart or hard working. But most of us understand the truth and that truth is that having good contacts, going to good schools and having upper class mannerisms are the basic requirements for success. These people live in a bubble world where no amount of incompetence, poor conduct or even criminal acts can knock them down. Now, I’m sure you can remind me of Madoff or some other corporate malefactor. But let me remind you that the world economy was savaged by the geniuses on Wall Street back in 2007 and not one has paid any penalty for their criminal acts or simple incompetence.
The middle class lives in a world where any failure can doom your career. They live in a world where you can do everything, absolutely everything they taught you in high school or college would gurantee you success and still everything can be taken from them, their jobs, their homes, their insurance, their benefits, their pensions, their investments – everything. The children of the middle class are thrown out into a world of diminishing opportunity and low paying jobs.
Let me repeat, one of the key factors is the difficulty of the children of the middle class to get into prestigious schools.
I see nothing on the horizon that will change those rules.
You see this is the hardcore, the never changing affirmative action, the big quota system. The guaranteed access to the best spots to those who already have money or status is a vicious assault on the concept of merit.
It is astonishing considering the amount of federal aid these institutions gobble up that they are not required to admit based on merit.