March 13, 2019

I’m sure you’ve heard about the elite college admissions bribery investigation that’s snared a number of rich parents, including CEOs, college coaches and actresses Lori Laughlin of “Full House” and Felicity Huffman, who was arrested. Her husband, actor William H. Macy, was reportedly not charged.  (Is it just a coincidence that she starred on “Desperate Housewives” and he stars on “Shameless”?)

Prosecutors say that between 2011 and 2019, well-off parents paid an admissions consultant a total of $25 million to get their kids into top universities, including Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest, Georgetown, the University of Texas, USC and UCLA.  The scam sometimes involved passing the students off as athletes (even Photoshopping their faces onto athletes’ bodies – I’ll have to see if TBN can do that for me!), then claiming they were injured and couldn’t play after they were accepted.  Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to pass their two daughters off as USC crew team recruits. Neither girl even participated in rowing, although the family is up the creek without a paddle now.  You'd think that for $500,000, they could get their kids in the honest, traditional way: by buying the school a new gym. 

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Huffman is accused of knowingly paying $15,000 to a fictitious charity to help boost her daughter’s SAT scores.  That scam allegedly involved claiming privileged kids were special needs to secure private SAT exams for them, then the proctor would correct their wrong answers.  Red flags were raised when Huffman’s daughter’s SAT score jumped 400 points from her LSAT score. 

This is being described as the biggest college entrance scandal in US history, although I bet you’d get an argument from Asian-American parents whose kids can’t get into top schools despite having superior grades and qualifications, due to “diversity” policies making sure there aren’t “too many” Asians.  Apparently, fake athletes and celebrities’ kids were also boxes on the diversity chart keeping other students from making it in.  

I do feel some sympathy for these kids if they didn’t know their parents paid off officials to get them into top name colleges and are only now discovering it via embarrassing headline news.  Laughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is a social media celebrity and “influencer” who discovered how quickly the social media pack can turn on you.

But I hope that people don’t miss the real message of this, beyond “Cheaters never prosper.”  That is that we place far too much emphasis on the prestige of getting into certain universities.  These days, much of the admissions process at these big name schools comes down to things that have little to do with qualifications (again, ask Asian-American students about reverse discrimination at some of our most elite and most liberal universities.)  Then, once students are in, today’s professors protect their self-esteem (and the school’s image) by passing out A’s to every kid like candy corn on Halloween, so grades have become meaningless.  And as we’ve seen recently from certain graduates, the non-science classes have devolved into socialist indoctrination sessions rather than education. 

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I’m sure my degree from Ouachita Baptist University wouldn’t score me an invitation to any Park Avenue soirees, but I actually had to qualify to attend and study hard to graduate.  At my school, you earned every A you got, and you got every F you earned. 

Unless you are going to college primarily to make contacts and impress shallow people, there’s little reason to think you’ll get a better liberal arts education from an “elite” university than from a state school or private or Christian college.  The facts in the textbooks are the same, so look for a school where the teachers are apolitical and free speech is still protected so students can learn how to debate conflicting ideas and think rationally.

Besides, at a school like that, you’ll get much more education for your money. I will never understand why rich people will pay $50,000 a semester for someone to teach their kids to hate capitalism.  Sounds like it’s the wealthy parents who need some schooling.  And it appears that some of them are about to get some, good and hard.     


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Comments 1-20 of 20

  • Floyd Henderson

    04/03/2019 05:04 PM

    This could be a great business opportunity. Someone should start an Ivy League University for underachieving rich kids. They could make a fortune.

  • Vanessa Knutsen

    03/15/2019 08:44 AM

    I bet most college class least in required about the same.

    Algebra2 is just much more co$$$tly at Prestige U...than at Local U.

  • rodney burke

    03/14/2019 05:37 PM

    Doesn't this just crack you up. Engaging in scams to get their kids in a school that will teach then to hate the very thing that got them IN the school in the first place; Capitalism, affluence, wealth creation due to WORK. I didn't go to a prestige school either, Not by choice when I was in Austin, Texas but. I worked for my degree, was a full time dad, and active Duty Air Force. This is sad when they think they must cheat to get into a fancy school and the results is like you amply enumerated. Nope, these are no better than Nancy, chuckie, Diane F and hilary. They need to pay the price for their arrogance. This is NOT going to be a good year to be a democrat and I don't think I am the only one who thinks that. What does Sean Hanity say? "The year of the boomerang." Fits.

  • Glen Mitchell

    03/14/2019 07:37 AM

    This has been going on for years. It is not just giving money to a university, but name recognition will do the same. I am a Conservative, but I don't think ones political believes has anything to do with if the parent wants their children to go to a certain college. The sad part is that children with very good qualifications are left out because they don't fit with the strategy of facility. Name recognition and money will quite often put you in front of someone with great academic qualifications.

  • ferdie

    03/14/2019 07:04 AM

    Great post Governor. I feel for the students who worked so hard to make the grade, but were denied entry. The irony joke is hilarious and the irony is thick in this debacle. "Me Too" as long as you can pay. God bless.

  • Firewagon

    03/14/2019 03:03 AM

    “.... $25 million to get their kids into top universities,....” Anybody run a check on how Chelsea Clinton was admitted to her ‘top tier’ university? LOL! I’m guessing that money was laundered so many times it would be harder to track than those $1,000 worth of ‘cattle futures’ her mother tuned into $100K & banked!

  • Donna Bogema

    03/13/2019 10:14 PM

    As a college graduate and former teacher, I would not recommend college for any young person today unless their heart and mind is set on a career that specifically requires one. And then I’d be VERY careful which one to recommend.

  • Dale E Ipema

    03/13/2019 08:29 PM

    Shouldn’t the Universities be on the hook for being willing to sell “education” to the highest bidder? Doesn’t that devalue the university and collegiate system? Maybe we should be following Mike Rowe’s lead more and push people toward an honest high paying living.

  • Gayle Mourton

    03/13/2019 06:48 PM

    All this makes me wonder about the Clinton's daughter, Chelsea and if they paid someone to assure she got into the appropriate school. Ditto the Obama family. Curious.

  • Don Crumbley

    03/13/2019 06:19 PM

    Gov: Read Ben Shapiro's comment on this and he relates his opinion as to "WHY" rich parents have done this for the past several years. I agree strongly with his take on this problem.

  • Pat Duran

    03/13/2019 06:09 PM

    White privilege preavails with the liberal parents bribing their kids way into elite colleges. University of Texas (t.u,) was on the list which is the Texas version of Berkeley. There are lot of students who work hard academically & athletically to get scholarships. My great- niece is one of those HS Sr. whose been offered scholarships to 2 colleges.

  • Linda Hall

    03/13/2019 05:20 PM

    You are exactly right sir!

  • Jan Johnson

    03/13/2019 04:46 PM

    Re: Asian and other quota students. Fulfilling quotas can leave more deserving white students in the back of the line. None of this benevolent social injustice is serving OUR deserving children. Our children are burdened with college loans while foreign students get full rides with housing, spending allowance..etc. I read a confession of a college professor who said she retired because she couldn’t accept this injustice any longer. American students with part time and summer jobs to help pay tutition while foreign students wouldn’t even accept part time or summer jobs. Why would they when our government subsidies their every need. Sorry, but there is more to this story than rich people buying their kids acceptance into a prestigious college. Our children are the ones who are first in line receiving the abuse of these Socialist attitudes. They fight for “dying” kids on the border and jouyfully vote to kill our unwanted babies. Crowding our public schools with non speaking, third world hygiene children. Our children hearing foreign students cursing teachers and threatening to sue them if they touch them (primary students included). Feeding foreign families when we have tent cities full of hungry American children who have never been to school. I am a prime example of what the Libs call a racist. When I have fought for equality all my life... which is exactly what I am doing now! I am a grandmother who is fighting for equality for OUR children FROM PEOPLE WHO TAKE OUR AMERICAN KINDNESS AS A WEAKNESS and our children are paying the highest price. I saw a waitress pick up another waitress’s tip. I ask, “Why did you take that waitress’s tip money?” She looked at me and said, “If she is dumb enough to leave it laying there, I’m smart enough to pick it up!” That sums it up. The law of the jungle.

  • Carol bell

    03/13/2019 03:13 PM

    Both of my children worked hard to get into college & to get their degrees. Both are successful in the fields they chose. Our daughter was a 4.0 gpa & got a total scholarship to speech therapy graduate school. She earned it the old fashion way..she studied constantly. I would feel like a failure as a parent if I ‘bought’ them a place at a university. It’s disgusting & sad at the same time.

  • Jacqueline Martin

    03/13/2019 02:29 PM

    LSAT is the Law School admissions test. I think the Governor meant to say PSAT.

  • Sue Palik

    03/13/2019 01:48 PM

    Think about it...(something that keeps coming to my mind over and over):

    Re: university scandals: To me, this is no different than a mom or dad taking their child into a 5 & 10 store (today's dollar stores), and teaching them how to shop-lift. The child learns, this is O.K. if you can get away with it. In my opinion, I consider this a form of child abuse.

  • Nancy Hobday

    03/13/2019 01:42 PM

    I agree Sir, and I believe this kind of nonsense has been on going for decades if not centuries. I have a degree from an HBC. I have been an RN for close to 50 years. I had occasion to instruct some sophomore Nursing students from an Ivy League school. They had not been taught as thoroughly as I was by my sophomore year. Not surprised.

  • Jeffrey Wilson

    03/13/2019 01:27 PM

    Hi Mike,
    Today one of the TV news media polled students on campus of their reactions to this fraud. Naturally all interviewees were upset, because they worked so hard to get accepted. Wonder if they will be so upset when they are working and paying for free college to anyone, and entitlements for immigrants and freeloaders (see AOC's green policy).
    Keep up the good work. Praying daily for this country.

  • Kathleen O'Reilly

    03/13/2019 12:35 PM

    I went to Bloomsburg University of PA, a state school in the 80s and received a BSN. Best nursing school in the state then and now and we have University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Temple and Pitt to name a few. State schools offer an excellent education. There's also the question of why everyone is pushed to go to college, put themselves into major debt only to come out with a degree they can't use when learning a trade would have been a better idea. In my humble opinion. ..a Liberal Arts degree is fairly useless if a person expects to finish college and earn a decent living right away.

  • Carolyn J Blue

    03/13/2019 12:02 PM

    This is rich (excuse the pun)! Those who have big bucks, pay underhanded people to make sure their kids into a prestigious college even though they have not earned it, AND on the other end of the spectrum, illegal kids are afforded a free college education that they are not entitled to because they are not legal citizens. In the center is “Middle America” who have kids who want to go to college, work hard and do it honestly to get in and when they do a lot of parents struggle and sacrifice when their kids are accepted. AND to add to this the rich kids that got in dishonestly, knowingly or not, took away a place for a deserving child who did it all the right way along with their parents. Sad state of affairs to say the least. I guess morals and ethics have gone down the tube.