The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Pay to Play University Scandal

Mar 18, 2019

Some 750 people are being charged with corruption of various kinds to obtain admission for their children into elite colleges, for example, Yale, Stanford and the University of Southern California. The charges are against administrators, coaches, at least one exam proctor, and parents of wealth, including heads of corporations and two well-known actresses.

Some of the schemes involved putting in a substitute for their own child taking the important college admissions test called the SAT. Another scheme involved pretending the student was an athlete when they had never played the sport.

A former admissions official from Duke University said, “I wasn’t even a little bit shocked. This has been going on forever. The one percent has always had an advantage ....”

The rich have always been able to buy a place for themselves or their children in elite schools. No matter what kind of students they were, the Bush children were able to go to Yale for generations. No matter what kind of students the Kennedy children were, their father could pay for the best schools in the country. There is even a name for these young people of privilege, the “legacies,” meaning their applications to get into top schools will NOT be turned down.

But is this buying done for the sake of education? Not at all. As the former admissions official put it, “And part of what you get when you go to these schools is contact with those kinds of people [the one percent].” The whole point is not education: it is the chance to become part of the elite–the business and financial elite, with a chance to make fortunes, control companies, make the policies that shape the economy of both the U.S. and the world. Or the political elite–high positions in government, part of the political establishment that rules on behalf of capitalism.

These “students” will be charged with keeping intact a society where millions and billions of dollars go to the one percent, while exploitation, poverty and despair is the future they propose for the vast majority.

Now, that’s the real education scandal.