How Broken The College Admissions Process Is (HBO)

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How Broken The College Admissions Process Is (HBO) 4.5

The Justice Department charged 33 parents on Tuesday in a massive cheating and bribing scheme to get their kids into elite colleges. Federal investigators charged 50 people in all, indicting test administrators, athletic coaches and a number of wealthy parents from across the country, including actresses Lori Loughin from Full House and Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives. So far, they have not made a comment about the charges.

According to investigators the scam, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by the FBI, revealed a wide-ranging web of bribery and fraud, including cheating on admissions exams, faking involvement in sports by photoshopping students onto the bodies of athletes and even falsifying learning disabilities.

The pressure to get into elite institutions is high, and the main gatekeepers to these competitive universities are admissions officers.

Sara Harberson, a former Associate Dean of Admissions for UPENN and former Dean of Admissions at Franklin and Marshall College told us, "What would always helps students if they were tagged and their family had a lot of financial resources. You were really looking at seven figure donations 8 figure donations. But sometimes six figures plus a connection with someone on the board was even more powerful.”

VICE News spoke to five of them to find out what it’s really like behind a process that remains closed to most people.

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💬 Comments on the video

Former college admissions officers tell us just how broken the process is.

Author — VICE News


Remember people if you want your kids to get into college. Just donate a couple of millions to the university then it's okay. No need to bribe the administration, just bribe the entire university.

Author — blackearl7891


I can't choose my race, I can't choose my sex, I can't choose where I grew up, I can't choose my family's social rank, I can't choose whether my parents accepted to let me learn an instrument (*In my case, they didn't*), but I can choose to have good grades if I work hard enough.

What are college looking at? Everything but your grades.

Nice one America.

Author — Hosono


"Just because you deserve an acceptance, doesn't mean you're going to get it" Then, what does? THE AMOUNT OF PERSONAL BIASES THESE PEOPLE HAVE IS RIDICULOUS!!

Author — Maliha Intikhab


‘You’ve satisfied all of my biases. Congratulations! You’re accepted!’

‘You’ve exposed all of my biases. We’re sorry. You’re rejected.’

Author — teddy toto


Next can we address $450 textbooks, exorbitant parking costs, prison-style student bunk bed dorms that cost more $ than an off-campus apartment, ridiculously expensive dining plans, and of course, the insane expense of tuition? Oh, nevermind... I forgot student loans will cover it on a non-bankrubtable indentured servant payment plan... we're good, nothing to see here. But don't get me started on the billion dollar college sports industry that doesn't pay the athletes, and doesn't allow them to accept money for endorsements or make money off of their athletic ability

Author — Busby StandUp


Lol, no one said “based on their merit.”

Author — Jesus Frutis


These admissions officers are so unbelievably biased holy shit, I couldn't believe what I was hearing from them... but I guess I shouldn't really be surprised.

Author — The Flagged Dragon


The NYU lady is a little worrying, too many biases.

Author — obi one


How did these biased, prejudiced individuals get hired to decide on admissions to any college?

Author — J Rosa


Gossip girl already had taught me that this kind of stuff happens.

Author — Lolli M


"Legacy students", "donations"... call it like it is: CORRUPTION

Author — tonis1983


“Get good grades so you can go to a good college”
“Just because you get good grades doesn’t mean you’re going to go into a good college”

Author — Aidan King


Lol. The title should be: We ask biased college admission selectors which category of students they root for.

Author — Efthymios N


None of those admissions officers even come off as qualified to review my application. Just speaking the truth.

Author — Jim Richardson


"This is not donating a building so that a school will more likely accept your son and daughter" - yeah, that's so much more equitable. Smh.

Author — Ken Powers


I look at Ivy League schools completely differently now . Lot less value

Author — Jeff Stoffa


In the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.

Author — Sean Walsh


"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" (MLK). Looks like we've still got some ground to cover America.

Author — James Buckey


These admissions officers are hilarious. You’re saying how wrong it is to cheat to get it. Put you’ve left students with no choice. You say its all in the paper. But even if you deserve it doesn’t mean you’re gonna get it. 😂 absolutely hilarious. Do you know how hard it is to get in now? And now we have to fit you’re specific bias??😂

Author — Salah Usufi