On Donations to Colleges

Donating to Colleges, College Donations, University Donations

We love it when there are pieces on college admissions in “The Onion.”

Thinking about donating to a college to which your child is applying? We came across an article entitled “Wealthy Father Nervously Waits For Response After Sending Donations to Son’s Top College Choices” that we just had to share. Alright, alright. You got us. It’s a piece in “The Onion,” so it’s obviously a joke. But it’s funny nonetheless. And you know why it’s funny? Because there are many fathers (and mothers!) out there who think that by donating to universities, their children will certainly earn admission. Is there a right way to donate money to a university that can improve your child’s case for admission? Yes. Is there a wrong way? You bet (and most who approach us have the wrong way in their heads). We regularly help parents make donations to universities but any parent who thinks making donations will guarantee their children admission — don’t write us, don’t call, and don’t send pigeon carriers our way because we’re not interested in working with you. Your expectations are misplaced and unreasonable.

Anyhow, back to the humor of the piece in “The Onion”:  “Anxiously wondering what kind of impression he was leaving on university admissions officials, wealthy father Gordon Fring was said to be waiting restlessly for responses this week after mailing donations to his son’s top college choices. ‘I sent in contributions to eight different schools all over the country and haven’t heard anything back yet,’ said Fring, who added that while he submitted large sums to each of the private universities, he knew that thousands of other high school seniors’ well-off parents had done the exact same thing, so at the end of the day, it was just a crapshoot. ‘I really hope I get positive news from Duke. My son’s wanted to go there forever, and I feel really good about the amount of cash I sent them, so hopefully I have a decent shot. Fingers crossed.’ At press time, sources reported that Fring had become excited after receiving an envelope from Vanderbilt, only to quickly grow dejected upon opening it and finding a simple form letter thanking him for his gift.”

If you were wondering, Gordon Fring, though fictitious, certainly went about making donations to colleges the wrong way. And remember this —  while colleges will always accept your donations (and send you a nice card in the mail to express as much), just because they take your money does not in any way mean they’ll take your child. In fact, in most cases, they won’t. That Quid pro quo approach will leave you with fewer dollars in the bank and, in all likelihood, one very unhappy child. Think about it. An admission officer is likely to think: “This parent thought he could buy his way in for his son? We’ll show him!” And show you they will.

While you’re here, read what we’ve got to say about donating to highly selective colleges.



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