Major Donors and College Admission

Major Donors in College Admission, College Admissions Donors, Brown Donors

Love him or hate him, Bill O’Reilly has a no spin zone. We’ve got a no spin zone at Ivy Coach too (photo credit: Ad Meskens).

Over the years, many folks have written in to us with a question that goes something like this: “How much would I need to donate to a university so that my daughter gets in and how do I make this donation?” For starters, know that there is absolutely no amount of money that you could donate to a school to guarantee your daughter’s admission. In fact, some schools (hi Harvard!) take tremendous pride in denying folks who so obviously donate money to the university in the hope their children will be offered admission. And when you have an endowment the size of Harvard’s, you can do that. It’s Harvard after all!

Now is there a magic number that will significantly help your child’s case? Yes, there is. But we don’t reveal that magic number on our college admissions blog and we don’t reveal it in free consults either (although lots of folks have tried). We’re a business at the end of the day. If a parent can afford to make multimillion dollar donations to colleges, they can pay our business for our expertise. There, we said it. We’ll own it. Is there a specific manner in which donations should be made to a university? Yes, but that too is reserved to our clients. We disappoint you again, we know. We’re “sorry, not sorry,” as the song goes.

Regular readers of our college admissions blog may remember how WikiLeaks published emails from the CEO of Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton, after the infamous late 2014 Sony hack. As reported by a number of news outlets at the time, Lynton exchanged emails with a Brown development officer related to making a possible donation. Our readers should first keep in mind that Michael Lynton isn’t only valuable to Ivy League schools in terms of the dollars he donates or does not donate. He happens to be the very powerful CEO of the studio behind such hits as “Breaking Bad,” “The Blacklist,” “Seinfeld,” you name it.

Anyhow, where did Michael Lynton’s daughter end up? We know you want an update. A quick perusal of Facebook (Sony even made the movie, “The Social Network” as a total aside) tells us that Michael Lynton’s daughter ended up at Brown. Brown University denied that Lynton’s pull had influence in his daughter’s case for admission, as reported within an update to an article in “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” Are we suggesting that Michael Lynton’s pull had influence in his daughter’s admission, particularly in light of some of the leaked Sony emails that were unveiled? No. We’re simply reporting the facts, facts previously reported by a number of news outlets, and leaving the interpretation of those facts open to the readers of our college admissions blog in the hope of creating a more open and honest college admissions process for all.


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