Editor says college admissions scam is an ‘illustration’ of higher education problems

Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris told Hill.TV on Wednesday that the recent college admissions scam involving over 40 people, including two Hollywood actresses, shows some of the problems with the U.S. college system.

“This really is an illustration of where we are in higher education today,” Glastris told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” 

“Remember, 90 [percent], 95 percent of students do not go to highly selective universities. We’re talking about a population of 5 [percent] or 10 percent of students that even apply to these schools, and they’re overwhelmingly upper-middle class and rich,” he continued. “This is not a scandal that in any way most people would find themselves in.”

“You have a handful of schools, maybe 50, maybe 100, that are highly selective. Those schools basically haven’t increased their freshman class sizes in decades,” Glastris said. “They’ve created an artificially limited supply of the ticket you need to get into an investment bank, the ticket you need to get into med school, the ticket you need to stay in the upper-middle class or the wealthy class.” 

“So they limit the amount, making it extremely valuable, and then, obviously, something of that value incentivizes people to cheat,” he added. 

Washington Monthly releases a list of college rankings each year.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman on Tuesday were among those charged in what has been dubbed “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

The scheme, which law enforcement has nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” involved getting prospective students admitted to colleges and universities as athletic recruits — even if they did not play sports — by bribing coaches, as well as paying people to help cheat on college entrance exams.

The schools were reportedly not involved in the scheme. Some 33 parents have been charged in connection with the plot. 

— Julia Manchester

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