The ongoing saga of rich and connected families bribing their way into prestigious colleges and universities continues to fascinate.
Celebrities and multimillionaires are going down like bowling pins, all because they couldn’t bear the thought of their offspring not being accepted at a top-tier school — or worse — landing at a public school, rubbing elbows with your kid.
What would drive a person to take such risk with their livelihood and reputation?
Because when you’re parent, you’ll do almost anything for your child. However in this case, it also was the horror that for all their investment, all the private schooling, tutoring and special privileges, their children still turned out to be ordinary.
But they needn’t have gone to such lengths. A new study by the University of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds when it comes to success, being born into an affluent family counts for more than talent.
It says in short, “in America, it is often better to be rich than to be smart.“
The report, which tracked a group of children to adulthood since 1989, found seven out of 10 low-scoring kindergartners from wealthy families still ended up as wealthy adults.
You’re as thick as a plank, but your pop’s a millionaire? You’ll be just fine.
It also found when a child stumbles academically, wealthy families spend five times more on support and enrichment programs than do working-class and poor families.
In the current college scandal, some entrance-exam “coaches” and proctors were commanding fat fees not to improve students’ test scores, but to fix them.
During her court appearance last week, actress Felicity Huffman confessed she paid a proctor $15,000 to “correct” her eldest daughter’s ACT test scores, which increased the result by 400 points.
Such nit-wittery failed take into account once she got to college, Huffman’s daughter wouldn’t have been able to maintain the level of performance the score indicated, and she likely would have washed out.
This isn’t to denigrate people who honestly and genuinely earn their success, but we know we need only to turn on the TV to see a parade of people who wouldn’t be where they are, had they not won the womb lottery.
Case in point: The New York Times recently reported the president squandered $1 billion over a 10-year period.
It takes a special talent to burn through $1 billion. Most people couldn’t do it unless they set it directly on fire.
He would have been better off to deposit it in a Christmas Club account at the credit union.
As it stands, he holds the distinction of losing more money than any American in history, but his father’s wealth ensured he always had a soft place to land.
That same wealth likely paved his way into the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. His grades, however, have remained more secure than the Mueller Report. But we know had he made the dean’s list, every American with a mailbox would have received a copy of his transcripts by now.
Though the Georgetown report does not underestimate the power of talent and hard work to lift a child out of poverty, it notes that a low-income child with academic promise still has less opportunity, less of a chance at achieving success than does a low-performing wealthy child because of all the factors involving one’s socio-economic status.
In short, some rich parents are heading to jail and disgrace for a caper they didn’t even have to commit.
You’d think they’d be smarter.