College Cheating Scandal: Two Ex-Admissions Officers Explain the Behind-the-Scenes Process


A former college admissions officer says it doesn’t necessarily take long to figure out if an applicant has a fighting chance at getting into one of the country’s top schools, NBC News reports.

“We see so many transcripts that, in about a third of a second, we can tell what type of trajectory the student is on,” said McGreggor Crowley, the former director of undergraduate selection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Admissions officers are the gatekeepers of what has become a deeply competitive — and, for many, a deeply unequal — process for high school students. The most esteemed schools extend invitations to only a tiny fraction of applicants — sometimes the admit rate is in the single digits or low teens — and some privileged families shell out thousands for test prep services, essay editors and private counselors. 

The federal case brought this week against 50 people, including CEOs and Hollywood stars, suggests that some rich and powerful families use their wealth to illegally subvert the process and gain an advantage. The defendants, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are charged in a sweeping scheme to purchase slots at Yale, Stanford and other prestigious institutions.

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But by and large, mid-level admissions officers strive to consider applicants in good faith and on the basis of their academic records, the ex-officers said. “When universities are in possession of all the facts, I think they can make judicious and thoughtful decisions,” said Eric Sherman, a former admissions officer at Columbia University.

Source : Nbcnewyork