By this time, everyone knows the facts of the college admissions and testing scam engineered by William “Rick” Singer’s Edge College & Career Network and his “side door” to elite colleges which he promised the Key to for parents who paid from $75,000 to more than $1 million for his services.
The college admissions and test taking scam revealed nearly a month ago in Boston was shocking, no doubt about it. Columnists could talk of nothing else for days. But the story’s allure to the media and the rest of us, I guess, was the unfairness of it all, the brazen immorality, and, let’s face it, the voyeuristic glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
It doesn’t excuse anything, but relatively few people were involved. After all, how many of your friends are conniving to the tune of half a million dollars to get their kids into college? None of them.
Yet self-appointed experts deemed the scandal “a staggering indictment of higher education and American education policy generally.” No, it was a staggering indictment of some 50 parents, coaches and at least one college official. (More indictments are anticipated.)
Do you want to know what the real indictment of higher education is? The scandal that may very well in some way affect you and your child and everyone who’s working so hard to give their kids the best chance at life?
— one-third of entering college freshman transfer after one year (typically, just 43% of their credits go with them)
— only 60 percent of first time, full time freshmen graduate and too many of them take six years to graduate
— far too many college freshmen, ill-prepared by their high schools yet admitted to their colleges, are then left with too little support and drop out.
— thousands of students each year carry more than $30,000 of student loan debt due, at least in part, to the financial aid policies of the federal government and colleges and to the failure of school districts to educate their taxpaying parents about the complexities and financial dangers inherent in the college financial aid system.
— According to a report just released by the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC, think tank, 62% of parents of college students today borrow more than what the federal financial aid formula determined they could afford. Nearly 800,000 parents borrowed an average of $16,452 during the 2017-18 academic year through the federal government’s Parent PLUS loan program.
These are some of the scandalous facts we should really be concerned about.
But there is reason for hope. A glimpse at that is the subject of the next post.