April 1, 2019

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Elite Colleges Announce Record Low Admission Rates in Wake of College Cheating Scandal.

It is harder than ever to get into a top-tier college. That was the message this week as several of the nation’s most selective universities trumpeted the news that they had record numbers of applicants — and record low admission rates.

But the news was also troubling for many parents and students in the wake of a vast cheating scandal, in which federal investigators charged dozens of parents this month in a scheme to buy their children’s way into college.

In some ways, the cutthroat admission rates — and the image of exclusivity that comes with them — point to why those parents, several of whom appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday, were said to have bribed coaches and athletic directors to game an increasingly restrictive system.

“There’s a vicious cycle that fuels admission angst and spawns desperation,” said Sally Rubenstone, senior contributor to College Confidential, an online admissions forum. “Each year as elite-college acceptance rates get smaller, students apply to longer and longer lists of colleges to maximize their chances of good news.”

Related: To Reduce Inequality, Abolish The Ivy League.

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