It’s only August but there’s a piece in today’s New York Times penned by Dana Goldstein that reflects on the year that was in college admissions. Goldstein’s piece, aptly titled “Reporting on a Very Bad Year for the College Admissions Industry,” recounts some of the major scandals in college admissions that have been reported on over this past year: from the Varsity Blues operation to revelations that parents in wealthy enclaves often seek out 504-accommodations for their children so they can receive extra time in testing to the story that ran this past week that other wealthy parents transfer guardianship of their children so they will qualify for need-based financial aid.
There Have Been So Many Admissions Scandals This Year, One Got Forgotten
In fact, Goldstein reported on so many scandals that she left one major scandal that broke this year out of her piece: the T.M. Landry College Prep scandal. In the T.M. Landry scandal, the school’s directors doctored transcripts and manufactured up by your bootstraps stories to secure spots for their students at some of our nation’s most highly selective universities. Well before the T.M. Landry scandal broke, we had criticized the school’s administrators for publishing videos of their students learning of their admissions decisions. What if the student didn’t earn admission while their whole school watched them click on the email with the decision? What if the student didn’t want that video shared on the morning news programs? It seemed sketchy to us and, as it turns out, our instincts were right.
And let’s not forget that we’re still within one calendar year of seeing Harvard University Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons on the witness stand in a federal trial defending the legality of Harvard’s holistic admissions process — and, in effect, the admissions process at every one of our nation’s universities. It’s not every year that the top admissions officer at our nation’s most elite school has to defend his life’s work! In any case, take a gander at Goldstein’s latest piece as it provides a really nice overview of some of the outlandish breaking news in college admissions reported on over the course of the year, news so scandalous that it has become fodder for movies of the week and limited television series. Heck, another limited series about the Varsity Blues scandal just went into development, based on a Vanity Fair article. How many is enough?