American Meritocracy (06:10)
Affluent parents pay for college entries in "Operation Varsity Blues." After World War II, the government establishes the GI Bill. James Bryant Conant wants to change Harvard University's policies of educating children of American aristocracy by creating the SAT.
College Admissions Scandal (04:24)
Coaches, entrepreneurs, and celebrities are implicated in "Operation Varsity Blues." Olivia Jade attends the University of Southern California due to Rick Singer portraying her as an athlete and scholar. Jane Buckingham pays $50,000 to have a stranger take her son's SAT.
College Counselors (02:54)
A student with a C average will not get into Harvard. Allen Koh begins working with families when the student is in fifth grade; Cardinal Education's most expensive college application package is $350,000. Rick Singer convinces parents that his schemes are a bargain.
Preference and Discrimination (05:02)
Jared Kushner's father donates $2.5 million to Harvard University before his son’s acceptance. Alumni donate in hope that their children will attend. President Lawrence Lowell initiates a ranking system to determine the percentage of Jewish students and institutes preferential admission to legacies.
Ten coaches and officials are charged with accepting bribes in Singer's scheme. Colleges lower admission standards to allow elite athletes. American universities see athletics as a way to mold men's characters.
Thwarting the Aristocracy (02:35)
Kingman Brewster admits women and records more applicants from public schools. Alumni donations at Yale plummet due to a lack of legacy preference. Legacies, recruited athletes, and children of wealthy donors can account for 50% of a class.
Graduation Day (02:23)
Earning a degree from Yale Law School is considered an entry into the American elite. Meritocracies are making individuals miserable and creating a hyper unequal society. More students are from families in the top 1% than the bottom 60%.
Berea College (04:40)
The college in the Appalachian Mountains is free and rejects affluent candidates. Pell Grant recipients whose families earn an average of $28,000 comprise 98% of the freshman class. It is one of the top 50 Liberal Arts colleges in America.
Affirmative Action (06:09)
Allan Bakke vs the University of California Davis is the benchmark for minority college admissions. Edward Blum attests that Harvard University raises standards for Asian-American candidates and systematically lowers it for whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics. Stuyvesant High School applicants take one test to determine admission.
Fareed Zakaria's Solutions (05:02)
Zakaria confesses he benefited from the merit-based system when attending elite undergraduate and graduate schools. Most college admission officers try hard to balance all factors. Tests and grades need are important for admission; universities should not accept unqualified athletes and legacies.
Credits: Scheme and Scandal: Inside the College Admissions Scandal (00:22)
Credits: Scheme and Scandal: Inside the College Admissions Scandal
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