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Scam to bypass college admissions (be careful where your 529 is going)

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  • Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3171
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #198402 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    Click to expand…

    Absolutely agree.

    UCSD is highly ranked as far as publics go, as are many of the UCs. People that dont think about how much of big money positions, aka, finance, etc…are really just network or family related. Jason Zweig while normally very bright and on point has been saying all kinds of things on twitter lately that make no sense, I guess outrage and grandstanding tend to do that to people.

    While discussing this he said something about not knowing where coworkers went to school usually, finance folks rightly retorted, ugh, bulge brackets and most hedge funds recruit from top 10 ivies only?! Which he then replied, “yeah, but I’ve seen their returns!”. Which is about as illustrative of the issues as anything could be. Focusing on firm performance of a measure of success as opposed to what most people would right point to, their personal financial success which suffers not.

    Sure, maybe they have middling returns like everyone else…but you know what they do have? Top tier paychecks. Returns mean squat in finance, everyone knows this and is what AUM is all about. The whole point is it puts people in a position to do better, and many will just by virtue of where they end up due to these connections.

    Law school is similar or used to be for pay, but likely more difficult to fake your way in.

    #198413 Reply
    Liked by Dusn
    portlandia portlandia 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 366
    Joined: 07/07/2017

    Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and emeritus Harvard professor, stated in an interview recently that one of the reasons that these kids can fake their way into top tier universities is the more recent phenomenon of rampant grade inflation in higher education. Had this scandal been tried 30 years ago, the unqualified kid getting into Yale would have failed out because getting admitted was only half the battle. Now they all get degrees. Sad.

    #198422 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and emeritus Harvard professor, stated in an interview recently that one of the reasons that these kids can fake their way into top tier universities is the more recent phenomenon of rampant grade inflation in higher education. Had this scandal been tried 30 years ago, the unqualified kid getting into Yale would have failed out because getting admitted was only half the battle. Now they all get degrees. Sad.

    Click to expand…

    I think that started when universities, I guess correctly, identified students/parents as their customers. Doesnt make any sense to push out your rent payers.

    #198425 Reply
    Liked by Tim, ENT Doc
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2338
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    Click to expand…

    plus the games they play with hiring their friends prior to ipo or putting each other on boards etc etc.

    lots of ways the rich stay rich while they continue to live an elevated lifestyle.

     

    #198427 Reply
    Liked by Kamban, Zaphod
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3171
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    Click to expand…

    plus the games they play with hiring their friends prior to ipo or putting each other on boards etc etc.

    lots of ways the rich stay rich while they continue to live an elevated lifestyle.

     

    Click to expand…

    Yeah, I have a great IPO story re: the same billionaire family.

    A close friend is married to one of the other best friends of “the scion” from high school and college. He went into his family business, not as lucrative as the tech business, so did not get to work with his buddies. In the late 90’s, the billionaire family company had an IPO, and he was invited to buy shares in the IPO. I do not remember the details, but let’s say he bought 1000 shares at $25, and two weeks later the stock was selling for $45 (which was common, if not relatively tame, for tech IPOs in the 90’s).

    The investment house called my friend and asked him if he wanted more IPO shares two weeks into the deal as not all had been sold. My friend asked how much they would cost, and he was told $25. My friend clarified the question, “You mean that you are going to sell me a stock for $25 that is selling on the open market for $45?”, and the answer was, of course, affirmative.

    So, yes, the wealthy and connected do take care of one another very well. Us lowly doctors do not get a sniff of this kind of action, and most do not even know it exists.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #198428 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2127
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    So, yes, the wealthy and connected do take care of one another very well. Us lowly doctors do not get a sniff of this kind of action, and most do not even know it exists.

    Click to expand…

    Do any physicians have partnerships? Do you prefer eat what you kill, democratic, or senior partner’s deciding what you deserve? Medicine is a business just like any other.

    Do personal job referrals come from professional contacts made in your professional life?  Networking counts in your social and business life, that’s who you know. Not all royalty is a prince or a king. Sorry, physicians are thought of royalty too!

    #198443 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 887
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    Click to expand…

    Absolutely agree.

    UCSD is highly ranked as far as publics go, as are many of the UCs. People that dont think about how much of big money positions, aka, finance, etc…are really just network or family related. Jason Zweig while normally very bright and on point has been saying all kinds of things on twitter lately that make no sense, I guess outrage and grandstanding tend to do that to people.

    While discussing this he said something about not knowing where coworkers went to school usually, finance folks rightly retorted, ugh, bulge brackets and most hedge funds recruit from top 10 ivies only?! Which he then replied, “yeah, but I’ve seen their returns!”. Which is about as illustrative of the issues as anything could be. Focusing on firm performance of a measure of success as opposed to what most people would right point to, their personal financial success which suffers not.

    Sure, maybe they have middling returns like everyone else…but you know what they do have? Top tier paychecks. Returns mean squat in finance, everyone knows this and is what AUM is all about. The whole point is it puts people in a position to do better, and many will just by virtue of where they end up due to these connections.

    Law school is similar or used to be for pay, but likely more difficult to fake your way in.

    Click to expand…

    Just to be clear, USD (involved in scandal) is a completely different school than UCSD.  Just a quick drive down the 5 from each other (or a scenic 15 mile coastal run) but worlds apart in terms of feel and the student body.  I was always under the impression that UCSD was better academically than USD, but USD is more expensive and has a wealthier student body.  I’d go to UCSD over USD any day, but I’m always more comfortable with the riff-raff :).

    #198454 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    The child of a Hollywood star or large bank CEO is not likely to meet a suitable future spouse, tennis/yoga buddies, or employer at the local community college, but there is a decent chance that he/she will meet them at Yale, Georgetown, or USC.

    Click to expand…

    I am a doctor and I met my suitable spouse at our state university and I would not trade her for anyone at Yale.  If the rich and famous want to pay for their kids to meet people why not just buy them memberships to the country club/yacht club/ yoga studio.

    Click to expand…

    That’s one data point. Here’s another – last week, I went to a funeral for a friend a business exec (a really great guy who sadly died in his mid-50’s), and no fewer than 18 friends from his undergrad days at Stanford attended his funeral. His business partners gave eulogies and were from his undergrad days at Stanford and his law school days at Harvard, where he met his wife.

    Here’s another – a family friend who went to the same private high school and then Wharton with his best friend, the latter the son of an early technology billionaire family that has flown well under the radar. Our family friend was smart, but not brilliant or especially talented. As the best friend of the billionaire scion, he was hired by the billionaire’s company as the right hand man and has had meteoric financial success. Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so. You don’t just get to join their country club; you have to be invited. I am not saying that it is important to live among the elite. Obviously, you and I do not, but it is important for some to do so. One of my partners does everything possible to rub elbows with the blue bloods in town. He will work forever to pay to keep up.

    I was not surprised that University of San Diego was on the list in the indictment. When we asked about it in reference to our son, our college guidance counselor said that it was the west coast school for the children of the silicon valley elite who could not get into the top tier schools and that our son would be out of place there.

    Click to expand…

    Absolutely agree.

    UCSD is highly ranked as far as publics go, as are many of the UCs. People that dont think about how much of big money positions, aka, finance, etc…are really just network or family related. Jason Zweig while normally very bright and on point has been saying all kinds of things on twitter lately that make no sense, I guess outrage and grandstanding tend to do that to people.

    While discussing this he said something about not knowing where coworkers went to school usually, finance folks rightly retorted, ugh, bulge brackets and most hedge funds recruit from top 10 ivies only?! Which he then replied, “yeah, but I’ve seen their returns!”. Which is about as illustrative of the issues as anything could be. Focusing on firm performance of a measure of success as opposed to what most people would right point to, their personal financial success which suffers not.

    Sure, maybe they have middling returns like everyone else…but you know what they do have? Top tier paychecks. Returns mean squat in finance, everyone knows this and is what AUM is all about. The whole point is it puts people in a position to do better, and many will just by virtue of where they end up due to these connections.

    Law school is similar or used to be for pay, but likely more difficult to fake your way in.

    Click to expand…

    Just to be clear, USD (involved in scandal) is a completely different school than UCSD.  Just a quick drive down the 5 from each other (or a scenic 15 mile coastal run) but worlds apart in terms of feel and the student body.  I was always under the impression that UCSD was better academically than USD, but USD is more expensive and has a wealthier student body.  I’d go to UCSD over USD any day, but I’m always more comfortable with the riff-raff :).

    Click to expand…

    Well, guess I need to spend more time in the Center for Kids Who Cant Read Good.

    Just read a great piece (as usual) from Matt Levine. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-13/you-have-to-pay-the-right-person

    Interesting the public assumptions and how its always presented on purpose of course differently than what is reality. Luckily for institutions were mostly ignorant and buy it.

    #198461 Reply
    Avatar NYCdoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 16
    Joined: 08/24/2018
    Disability Insurance

    The lawsuits started. Two students are suing their school (Stanford) and other schools because the system denied them a fair chance.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-03-14/usc-ucla-others-hit-with-first-admissions-scandal-class-action

    #198462 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    The lawsuits started. Two students are suing their school (Stanford) and other schools because the system denied them a fair chance.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-03-14/usc-ucla-others-hit-with-first-admissions-scandal-class-action

    Click to expand…

    Made me laugh. The whole process is unfair, thats the point. Plus they are at Stanford! Too funny.

    #198463 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2106
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    Like on the order of a $100M fortune, just by being connected with the right person. These connections can happen anywhere, State U, too, but are more likely to happen where the elite congregate. It’s simple physics.

    You can argue all you want, but if you want to work, worship, travel and play with wealthy, smart, and connected people, you have to connect with them and college is one place to do so.

    Click to expand…

    You are so correct about this, I used to kind of not want to believe this was true but I have been disabused of that notion.

    I went to a very non-prestigious state U. I actually think I got a good education, certainly worth what I paid for it (nothing).

    For med school I made a decision based on “fit” that in hindsight was not a good one. I really enjoyed med school but my school was in the unfavorable part of the chart with high cost and relatively low prestige. I took myself of the wait list at a much more favorable school (at least on that chart).

    For whatever reason I ended up at a very prestigious institution for residency and that’s where it hit me. There is a tier of schools and experiences out there that is the very top, Harvard, Yale, Standford etc. These institutions can do real things for you and breaking into this tier really does open doors. I see it now with my students as I teach at a top 20 university. Again you can think that’s a meaningless phrase and I wouldn’t fight you too hard on that, but mediocre students here match better than great students at less prestigious institutions. Even now working here I get offers and opportunities that I know are not extended to others in my field of similar vintage.

    What you tend to get is someone who never broke into the tier (admittedly maybe they never cared to) saying things like “it doesn’t matter where you go to X.” The sad fact of the matter is, it does. You and I have agreed with each other on other threads about flexibility and keeping doors open early in life. Going to college at Stanford keeps doors open that Square State University mostly closes down. Sad, but true.

    #198849 Reply
    Avatar BCBiker 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 188
    Joined: 01/10/2016

    I completely agree with @mpmd that going to top tier universities opens up opportunities for students. There is no doubt about that. Bottom of class at Harvard/Penn/Stanford med can match essentially anywhere in any specialty.  The assumption here is that those schools have appropriately filtered and taken the top 2-5% of med school applicants. I think that is a reasonable assumption because by the time a student becomes a med school applicant they have an opportunity to sink or swim.

    I would argue that undergraduate university is a completely different scenario because applicants have much less of a track record to go off of. A student could have good high school grades for many reasons and many have nothing to do with quality of the student. This news story shows that SAT should be mostly discounted. Most places do not have in person interviews and this can be gamed too. The majority of applicants for the top places are from wealthy families who do all they can to put lipstick on, whether kid is a pig or a peacock. So these schools are full of pigs and peacocks when the lipstick comes off. Pigs get to carry evidence of the really good lipstick their parents put on them for their entire lives. The lipstick game has become really competitive and plateaued until some business people were able to sell the really good stuff that happens to be illegal. And so it goes…  The only thing that breaks the cycle is if popular perception of “Harvard graduate” is the equivalent to “University of StateW graduate”. Then the lipstick market becomes bear.

    #198936 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 802
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    I had a couple of Harvard grads in my state med school class. Maybe they were not the brightest or their parents ran out of money by medical school. I never asked.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #198938 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2127
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    This news story shows that SAT should be mostly discounted.

    Click to expand…

    Respectfully, should Step scores be eliminated? I mean, someone could cheat! Or study, or be a good test taker. Each university has a measurement process to predict success and accept an incoming class. Face it, letter of recommendations were discounted because of reliability. Interviews were dropped due to time and lack of a standard. With high schools “teaching to the test”, what good are the grades? That pretty well does it. Level the playing field I guess. Now what?

    Somehow I think cheating is the problem, not the test.

     

    #198969 Reply

Reply To: Scam to bypass college admissions (be careful where your 529 is going)

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