Wednesday, June 19, 2024

2019; Free College Scam vs. College Admissions Scam.

( Tell the truth.  After the initial shock of hearing that a group of affluent parents paid massive sums to get their progeny into elite colleges, were you really surprised this happened?  It had to happen.  It was destined to happen.  College as a whole has become a scam.

All that was needed for this to happen was a guy like Rick Singer, the Bernie Madoff of college admissions.  You look at his website and it is written all over it.  “You need more than a school-appointed college counselor to help your son or daughter unlock the door to academic, social, personal and career success.” The website goes on to tell how you can separate your child from the others.  Singer just figured why should he be playing for $3,000 fees when he could use his talent and connections to prey on desperate parents with loose morals to extract millions from them.  There were plenty of felonious individuals at major colleges who were sick of seeing fellow coaches rake in millions from the “major” sports (football and basketball programs) while they lived on Subway.

It was a near perfect crime.  Who would have thought that parents would want to pay bundles of cash just for the right to pay even more than the outrageous fees being charged by these schools for the mediocre education they are delivering.  Everyone involved had an interest in keeping the scheme going to hide the lie that these opulent folks had dumb-as-a-rock offspring.   Unfortunately for them, there is always one blabbermouth and this one came out of the blue in an unrelated case.

Don’t believe the lie that the children did not participate in this.  They knew.   They may not have known how much their parents paid, but they knew they were gaming the system.  What a terrible example for your children.  Just think what these young people are going to use as a moral compass moving forward.

There are a lot of people tarnished here.  One can see a person of lesser means feeling cheated out of a rightful spot rowing for a college.  A huge aspect that is overlooked is all the people of means who properly raised their kids to work hard and play by the rules in an attempt to get into one of these elite colleges and to make something of themselves.   To point the finger at people like that and say they take advantage when only a score of people decided to go another route makes no sense.

What likewise makes no sense is the perverse emphasis on getting your child into the ‘right’ college.   This affliction is what provided the opportunity for Singer in the first place.  Kids are often driven to get into a college when that is not the right school for them educationally or psychologically.  They enter a class as a “small fish in a big pond” instead of taking a different route and being a big fish in a smaller pond.  I have said this for years:  There are over 5,000 colleges in the United States and one can get a fine education at them all with proper effort and (self) direction.

What makes little sense is that the children of these parents, for the most part, needed college the least.  Some could go into their parent’s business.  Others already have like Lori Loughlin’s.  This proves how perverse the entire process has become.

Instead, some young adults end up going to a college because the ‘industry’ drives them there and easy loans will allow them the funds to do so.  They end up with a questionable degree and a mound of debt.  No responsible adult stopped them to question “Do you understand what you are doing here and does this investment make sense for your future?   Do you realize the amount of debt you are taking on?”  That is why we have so many college-educated bartenders with a useless degree in some random major on the road to nowhere with bills as far as the eye can see.

You hear about “Big Pharma” or “Big Tech” or “Big Oil,” but you never hear about “Big Education.”  Those other industries never drove a group of customers into over a trillion dollars in debt.  Those other industries aren’t protected by a government that deems them non-profit while they pile billions of dollars into ‘endowments’ that are barely used to reduce the cost to their customers.  Try to do something about that and you will feel the wrath of Big Education that will come down on you like a load of bricks.

Big Education now has some politicians running around the country telling Americans that their government should pay 100% for everyone to get a college education.  We already underwrite this scam with billions of tax dollars either spent or lost by the lie that these schools are non-profit.  You are not non-profit when your employees are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and your administrators millions of dollars.

We are moving toward the biggest scam of all – “free college.”  Of course, we all know nothing is free and this one is particularly expensive.   Forty percent of students don’t finish college now.  What percentage will that become when they don’t have to pay a dime to go.  More people will be drawn into the scam that college is the way to a better future when today it is more an indoctrination than an education.  Two and one-half million well-paid manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in the next five years while more young Americans will be drawn into the scam of Big Education.

No, it is not surprising to have a group of morally-depraved individuals soaked in by a charlatan like Rick Singer on the promise that their little darlings will get into the “right” school.  We have been fed this load of malarkey for so long it was bound to happen.  Don’t let Uncle Bernie make it worse by making government pay for all of it.

If you think college is expensive now, wait until it is “free.”  Then this scam will really explode in cost when no one pays.

Columnist; Bruce Bialosky

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