Good work FBI (Operation Varsity Blues).

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by imwjl, Mar 13, 2019 at 8:54 AM.

  1. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

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    I think, and hope, there is the possibility that the schools that want to protect their reputations will take action against the students. This could well be in the form of rescinding any degrees awarded under fraudulent admissions and expelling those currently enrolled. The students involved can’t be innocent, they knew they were getting sports scholarships even though they were not athletes. They knew someone else was taking their entrance exams.
     
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  2. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I've never met anyone who stopped going to college due to money - I'm sure there are many (kids' parents died or something and they had no choice, or became ill, etc). Far more common was for me to see kids racking up huge debt to get a degree in meteorology or integrative arts, and finishing (and who knows what they do with their debt?). Now, the cost on an inflation adjusted basis is probably double, so maybe money problems is a larger percentage of the washout (but I don't think it's often happening to an engineering major who has a 3.8 - those folks will figure out how to get it done and solve the money problems later).

    I tried to track down some statistics, and the bill &melinda gates foundation published something that said 27% of students who drop out do so because they can't keep grades good enough to stay in school. Another 25% or so drop out because they say they're bored or uninterested and then some other portion say that it's too stressful (which could be for a whole lot of reasons). I don't know the whole % breakdown.

    Other studies say half of the drop outs leave due to cost (but one wonders if cost becomes a consideration if kids start doing poorly, or if kids start doing poorly because they're worried about cost).

    Even if it's half and half, the comment previously about nobody leaving due to grades because you can just keep going isn't accurate. It's probably at least half, grades or lack of achievement. I have a strong suspicion that the kids who say they are bored are making an excuse as to why their grades are bad. That may be a legitimate reason, but if it's not money related, they could continue to go and be bored. the most common thing I heard from guys who failed out of the science/math/engineering curriculum was "I don't do well because I didn't try and it wasn't that interesting". That's an ego cover.
     
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  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Apparently in some cases the kids definitely knew, in other cases they didn't. A kid would get in thinking it was on the basis of their application and scores.
    Little did they know that the parent had arranged for another test to supersede those scores. And they had no idea that they had been recruited by the sailing
    or tennis coach. They just went to the university, went to class, and had no idea that their rich helicopter parents had fraudulently gotten them in. If the kids knew
    they should definitely be booted out. But if they actually didn't know and are now getting decent grades, I wonder whether it would be right to boot them out when
    it wasn't them that fudged the scores or transcripts.....
     
  4. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of those really smart people are just plain highly educated, too.

    If you come across folks who always seem to be right when you have a hunch, and you're on the wrong side of every hunch contest with them, or you tell them one thing (that's complicated) once, and they remember it and apply it, then you know they're smart. If you're in a difficult profession, you can identify those people quickly because they can do things you can't or they can do things you can do much faster than you can and more accurately without conceding anything that you can do.

    Some of those folks never went to college and get really good at something, too, but a whole lot of them went to college. I've worked with two people who had perfect SAT scores who also knew how to apply it. I'm weak at reading compared to math, I have to read things a few times if they're not straightforward. the folks I'm talking about seem to be good at everything, whether they're intensely interested or not. When they read, write, problem solve and communicate seemingly perfectly every time, it's a rare thing and it doesn't fit well into less smart peoples' narrative of trying to find a weakness ("oh, that guy is book smart, but has no common sense. He wouldn't survive in the real world").

    People love that kind of strawmanning - have to find something wrong with someone and make it up if there isn't something. My wife likes to use one of them to bludgeon me. I outright say to her "you can't compare me to ____ because he's better than me. plain and simple. You need to lower your standards".
     
  5. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

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    It does not matter to me if they knew or not. Their admissions and degrees are based on fraud.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 1:35 PM
  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you guys talking about flunking out or not have been talking past each other a little bit. I think you're both right. At most universities they won't
    definitively kick you out very quickly. Typically, they put you on academic probation and offer multiple chances at redemption. I suppose if a student goes down that road
    and continues to fail they will eventually be told they should pursue their studies elsewhere. But I also suspect that in many if not most cases the students
    that are getting failing grades pull themselves out before they actually get formally and finally kicked out.

    I had a friend on the 10 year plan. He loved to party so he
    wouldn't apply himself. At my college they would force you to take a year off if you didn't pass all classes during the academic probationary quarter. But they would
    always let him matriculate again after a year off. So he had to take several years off but did finally manage to graduate after 10 years. Then he went on to make a fortune on Wall Street.
    (During those years off he worked as a trader on the NY Stock Exchange floor so he wasn't idle by any means...)
     
  7. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, that's how I think about "flunking out" as well. I see it like flight training or becoming a firefighter, you wash out and you don't become a pilot, period.

    One of my friends I mentioned above was similar to your friend. His dad had a lot of money and he had a drinking problem and I think he dropped out of college maybe three times before he finally gave up alcohol, buckled down and finished. He's a real success story in my eyes because to this day he's been sober. But it just seemed like the Universities were endlessly accepting his money.

    And I agree, we probably were talking past each other.
     
  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with this.

    Who is punished more in this situation if the school yanks the degrees, and/or kicks the kid out - if the kid was unaware ?

    The parents of course. As they should be.

    The kids then know what complete dirt bags and bad people the parents are - and of course the parents know what their kids think of them.

    You know, I really liked to think of Wm H Macy as Frank Gallagher, as bad as Frank can be. Now I know he's just Jerry Lundegaard...:(
     
  9. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I wouldn't let the kids continue in school, all of them, whether they knew or not. They got there by someone breaking the law for the sole purpose of placing the kid in the front of the line. The school could try to revoke all the course credits that they have earned and expunge the students from the records with extreme prejudice.

    Academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, can cause a lot of problems for the school. But I have seen the school plow right on through and toss the student on their ear within a week.

    It doesn't matter to me if the unaware students did not know what their parents did. Remember, the parents took a spot away from a qualified student. We sometimes don't think of them, as they are faceless unknowns, but they are just as real as the parents' kids. I'm not interested in boo-hoo for the parents' kids, even though they have it SO rough. As far as the happiness goes for the parents' kids, that's up to the parents to handle.

    Also, I saw some comments about university presidents and the roles they play. In my experience, a school usually has a president, provost, and deans to steer things. The deans are often chosen from the ranks of the faculty, but not necessarily so for the super-deans. The president's primary responsibility is fundraising. Not academics or even governance. The real power is the provost. That's where the final decisions are made.
     
  10. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like a good plan! Uh, do you have a basement? :D
     
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  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Any degree from Stanford-- Ancient Greek, Underwater Basket Weaving, etc., is worth a lot of $$.
    It is a golden ticket that indicates you must have been super smart to ever get in, and that you were able
    to work your butt off in order to successfully graduate. Wall Street firms, law schools, B-schools, and med schools will
    fight over any Stanford grad with good grades, especially if they do very well on any applicable tests such as
    MCAT, LSAT, GRE.
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't know. Doesn't that mean you went to a junior university?
    .
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    Leland Stanford Junior?
     
  13. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    One would think that if the kids got in and actually achieved better results than other kids, the school could find itself in some nasty lawsuits.

    Again, tiny pieces compared to legacy admissions.

    the private schools could probably make a case that they're not really in business to educate the smartest people, but instead to make money and that means taking on crappy students who are rich and really good students who aren't (because one is money, and the second is prestige, which will attract more money in the long term).

    All of this stuff is sort of like worrying about a butt pimple for someone who has stage IV cancer. The pimple would look really bad if someone took a picture of it and posted it.
     
  14. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    That's a pretty big if. To get good grades and do well on every standardized test you ever took is pretty hard to cheat on. Basket weaving is fine and good, but a friend of mine got masters degrees from stanford in german and spanish. She's teaching.

    If she'd have gotten degrees in spanish education and a masters in some kind of policy, she'd make the same money. An MBA with a finance concentration would be pretty useful, but that'll be hard to fake unless you're a legacy student, and you wouldn't have to come in through the tennis coach.

    I see this morning that we're starting to see some news spots on legacy admissions programs in response to this. It's about time.

    I don't begrudge the people who get in on legacy admissions - you cannot stop the flow of money, you can only change what it looks like. I just wish the fake notion of high standards that is dented due to this would be popped.
     
  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    I think the private colleges should be able to do whatever they want regarding admissions since they are private. If they have their own ethics standards then it would be reasonable to assume they'd take appropriate action against administrators or students based on those standards (for the benefit of their reputation).

    However, that still would not insulate any of the parties here from fraud or any tax evasion charges where they apply. If a parent is compelled to make a donation to a non-profit in return for greasing the skids into a private institution unbeknownst the university admissions people, that seems a lot like bribery to me. But if a private university just wants to let someone in because they are wealthy, eh, seems ok to me. As long as their private benefactors are ok with it, whatever.

    State supported schools, that's a whole different matter since they owe their existence to tax support and they only have a finite number of slots available for students. That could very easily stumble into the area of discrimination as well as bribery, theft, conspiracy, and so on.
     
  16. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Zimmy says:

    Money doesn't talk; it swears
     
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  17. stratofortress

    stratofortress Tele-Afflicted

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    Wonder when the first lawsuit is going to be filed against the cheating parents by the kids who got bumped...
     
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  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    This would seem to apply to a whole lot of people in for other reasons, too. Admissions favors, etc.

    When I was in college, my advisor said "do you want to get a PhD at Penn?" I said "no, I'm tired of being poor, and I'm probably not Penn material". She said "no problem, the program is funded, you get a stipend and you don't teach any classes. The dean of admissions is one of my friends. You'll get in".

    I still said no, for two reasons. While it would be lovely to say i had a phD from Penn (assuming I'd have ratcheted down and done what it took to get it, I probably would have), I would've gotten in on a favor and I would've been dumber than the average student there. That didn't sound good.

    I have a problem with impostor syndrome already, and don't like to feel like anything is laid on me that I didn't earn.

    A lot of other people don't have that problem. I don't really care too much if it's not on my doorstep, if you know what I mean. If someone tries to squeeze one of my clients and push them to move, I can beat them. I've done it before. Maybe I could make more money for me and my firm if I was less interested in serving steak, but I don't like that. I work around a lot of people who like to inflate their status, but don't aspire to be like them (they generally have to manipulate people as part of that), and all of us who work together from various professions tend to know who the solid individuals are.

    This could devolve into an entire conversation about leadership and the personality type that generally tends to seek it, and those who would be the best leaders in the long term avoiding conflicting those types.

    Safe to say, i don't think this little scam moves the needle. It's interesting from a curiosity standpoint, but I'll bet there are a lot of people who didn't pass on merit and who never got turned down wrongly, etc, who are getting upset about this when they could better themselves by doing something positive instead. I aspire to move my two kids through life in a way that they don't need to worry about the crusty edges because they aren't going to be materially affected by them, and that they'll realize that these things are human nature and you guard yourself against them so that you're not taken advantage of or used as part of a sham, but other than that, you do what's right and don't worry about it.
     
  19. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    if they were that close to the bottom of the list (assuming there's some magical list of a couple of kids in each college who got bounced out), they probably didn't have any business going to the school in question, anyway.

    They'd be the students who would end up in the remedial classes before getting into the meat. While looking for the reasons for quitting school, I saw a statistic that only 25% of students who need remedial classes to prep for regular course work graduate in an 8 year period.

    If you're one of those last few, too, there are probably kids who are better than you who didn't get in.

    I doubt it's formulaic enough to know who should have gotten the spots instead, and the kids who contest will risk embarrassment. "Jury finds that the defendant is not guilty because the plaintiff thinks they were affected, but they are too dumb to be in the affected class".

    But Mark Geragos will be on it as soon as he's done with his current lost cause.
     
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  20. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    And that is specifically why I earned a Liberal Arts degree: to become a better thinker.

    Bob
     
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