Would You Risk Months Of Prison To Set Your Kids Up For Life?

Every parent can attest they are willing to do everything in their power to give their children a good life.

Once you have kids, the money will come because you become so motivated to work harder. Not only will you work harder and pay better attention to your finances, you'll also likely get in better shape because you want to increase your chances of seeing your kids grow up!

Given the desire to give our children a better life, it's understandable why wealthy families try to bribe their children's way into various universities every year. We live in a hyper-competitive world.

When Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's plea bargain deal was announced, I was shocked.

Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to Rick Singer — the man at the center of the college admissions scandal and the founder and CEO of the company The Key: A Private Life Coaching and Counseling Company — to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the USC crew team, though neither actually participated in the sport.

Despite evidence from the FBI showing they were guilty, Loughlin and Giannuli held out and stated they were not guilty. Meanwhile, many parents, including Rick Singer, admitted they were guilty. Things were not looking good for this celebrity couple.

For example, Napa Valley winemaker, Agustin Huneeus was sentenced to five months in prison for his role in the college admissions scandal. Prosecutors said Huneeus paid $50,000 for a proctor to sit with his daughter and correct answers as she took the SAT exam. He also paid $50,000 to a University of Southern California athletic department official and agreed to pay $200,000 more when his daughter was accepted to the school as a water polo player.

In another example, LA business executive, Devin Sloane pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy for paying $250,000 to get his son admitted to USC, also as a phony athlete. Sloan was sentenced to four months in prison.

Given Loughlin and Giannuli defied the government and paid much more in bribes, the general consensus was that they would ultimately receive a more severe punishment. Lucky for them, that was not the case.

Loughlin And Giannuli's Plea Bargain

Based on the plea bargain, Loughlin will be sentenced to only two months in prison, a $150,000 fine, two years of supervised release, and 100 hours of community service.

Giannuli, however, will receive five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service.

Despite both being complicit, Giannuli took a more active role in the bribery process, hence, the harsher sentence. Just know that whatever you tell your friend in confidence will be told to his or her spouse.

Either way, 2-5 months of prison time seems like a relatively GREAT deal! I was expecting them to get closer to a year in prison with time off for good behavior. Their prison time is up for debate. However, my expectation for closer to a year in prison was based on precedence.

Two months is going to go by in a flash for Loughlin. Heck, think how quickly two months of government-imposed lockdowns have gone. Five months for Giannuli is obviously tougher, but still not that bad in the scope of things.

Oh yeah, and I forgot Felicity Huffman was sentenced to only 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year's probation after she pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy for paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter's SAT answers.

Would You Risk Months Of Prison To Set Your Kids Up?

Would You Risk Months Of Prison To Set Your Kids Up For Life?

Given the light sentencing for the most egregious offenders, the logical question every wealthy parent should now ask is whether they should also attempt to bribe university officials, admissions consultants, and test prep workers to help their kids get ahead? If you're already rich and privileged, why not try and give your kids an even further leg up, right?

There were 50 people who got caught in the Varsity Blues operation. Yet, according to Statista, there are an estimated 20 million college attendees in America – 15 million in public universities and 5 million in private universities.

Let's assume no parents bother to bribe their kids' way into public universities since the public university admissions process is more transparent and harder to corrupt.

Seriously, good luck bribing officials at The College of William & Mary, the most honorable public university in the country. William & Mary has frozen tuition for the 2020-2021 school year to help its students make college more affordable during a global pandemic.

If we assume just 0.1% of the 5 million private university kids have parents who bribed their way in, that's 5,000 sets of shady parents.

50 people caught out of 5,000 is only 1%. In other words, if you are a parent considering bribing your children's way into college, you've only got about a 1% chance of getting caught.

If you are one of the unlucky 1% who gets caught, the most you will likely have to do is 2-5 months of prison time and pay up to $250,000 in fines. The money really doesn't matter because you are already rich. It's the 2-5 months of prison time you really care about.

Thanks to the consistent light sentencing of the Operation Varsity Blues culprits, it is highly likely that WAY MORE wealthy parents will try to bribe their children's way into elite private universities rather than less.

If You Want To Bribe Your Kid's Way Into School

If you are encouraged by the light bribery scandal sentencing, here are some things to think about if you want to bribe your child's way in:

  • Identify universities that were caught in the scandal. Unless the school overhauls the entire administration, it's hard to completely root out corruption. Money is too alluring to be denied! Therefore, it's first worth focusing your attention on Yale, Georgetown, USC, Stanford, and UCLA (public). These are all terrific schools that have unfortunately had their reputations sullied by the scandal. Temporarily, it may be tougher to bribe your kid's way into these schools. However, over the long run, you know there's a way due to precedence. Further, competing schools that are always in search of money are also likely candidates for consideration.
  • Identify universities that are raising tuition during a depression. Although William & Mary announced it would freeze tuition for the 2020-2021 school year, USC announced it will raise tuition by 3.5% for the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of whether classes are held on-site or online. USC's move should be no surprise. A university raising tuition during a time of economic devastation is a good signal for where wealthy parents should focus their financial resources. Focus on universities that have a maximum focus on profits.
  • Practice annual two-month sheltering-in-place. Practice sheltering in place for at least two months a year for three years before attempting to bribe your kid's way into college. This way, you will not only better know whether bribing is worth it, if you are caught, you will also be able to better adapt to your 2-5 month prison sentence. Thankfully, our local governments have already given us plenty of shelter-in-place training in 2020.
  • Learn some self-defense moves. You don't want to enter prison defenseless. You need to learn several self-defense moves that will debilitate your opponent in case you are attacked. My favorite self-defense move is learning how to snap a finger or an arm. You have to be menacing if you don't want to be menaced. If you take down the toughest person in the yard, nobody else will dare mess with you.
  • Pay in cash and leave no written communication. Don't be sloppy like all the folks caught in Operation Varsity Blues. Always pay in cash and never correspond about bribery over e-mail or written note. You must always have a face-to-face meeting on a park bench somewhere. Alternatively, you can meet butt naked in the steam room or sauna somewhere. Use a burner phone if you need to make calls. Watch Ozark or Money Heist for more ideas if these do not suffice.

It's tough for millionaires to compete with centimillionaires and billionaires nowadays. Centimillionaires and billionaires can legally bribe their child's way into a prestigious university by donating tens of millions of dollars to fund a wing or a building. I know of a handful of people who've done just that and their kids have all gotten in.

If you never reach centimillionaire status or you don't want to take the 1% chance of getting caught by the FBI, then the next best thing is to start your own private business. As a private business owner, you can hire your daughter and make her the Executive Vice President of Operations after a month on the job! You're free to pay your son a big bonus one year just because he decided to call grandma every quarter.

Just make sure that if you go the private business route that you own 100% of the business. Dividing the business between you and your spouse works as well. However, just don't do something to piss the other side off. Once you give even a 1% share to an outsider, you risk losing your absolute position of power.

Let's do it for kids!

How many months in jail would your risk to set your kids up for life?

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Related posts:

Would You Endure Going To Public School For $1,000,000?

The Rapid Depreciation Of A Harvard Degree

Perhaps Bribing For Admissions Starts As Early As Preschool

What If You Go To Harvard And End Up A Nobody?

The Unhealthy Desire For Prestige Is Ruining Your Life

Financial Freedom Is Not Free

Readers, how much would you risk to set your kids up for life or at least a chance for a better life? Do you think the 2-5 month prison sentences are appropriate? Any other patterns you see here from the parents who were caught? What can universities due to earn back their trust?

About The Author

76 thoughts on “Would You Risk Months Of Prison To Set Your Kids Up For Life?”

  1. Isn’t an issue with the prison sentence that it affects your ability to travel? I wouldn’t get a visa with a criminal record as the police clearance portion fails. So no relocating. Otherwise, work wise, it wouldn’t matter since I’m not looking for employment, can just employ myself. But the no travel thing would make me question the concept of a short prison visit.

  2. He isnt advocating for anything- just stating what is. u wouldnt be saving all that money in 529 plans if u didnt see it as well. All that money isnt for SF public schools and Cal state

  3. I live in the midwest where it is different but i understand what Scott Gallaway says on internet financial sites. Scott is NYU business professor and has made his living in tech. He says the US has a caste system based on where u go to college. I think to some degree this is particularly true on the coasts whether u like it or not. Parents/ kids get to decide if they want /can play that game.

    1. Scott is pretty entertaining. However, if he is against this “caste system” why does he remain a professor at NYU? NYU is one of the most expensive schools in the world, and is still considered a notch below Columbia and many of the other private schools.

      Do as I say not as I do?

  4. I’m a firm believer that universities, regardless of their status, with good career centers can greatly help graduates with job prospects. My husband and I both went to an affordable state school in New York with strong connections to many great companies in NYC, including top banks and accounting firms. We both landed solid entry-level jobs through our career center and left college with very little debt.

    As a former hiring manager as well, I’ve been on the other side too recruiting college graduates for entry-level positions. My company was much more incentivized to work with and engage with students from universities that maintained strong connections, recruiting standards, and communications with us whether it be a state or private university.

    I remember we struggled in particular with one top tier school whose students routinely bailed on final-round interviews and reneged on offers with little intervention or student guidance from the university staff. Even though students from this university had some of the best resumes across our candidate pools, the cost of some of their actions wasn’t worth the time and effort. When attending one of the school’s recruiting seminars, several other companies expressed the same frustrations and threatened to end their relationship with the university. Top firms will no doubt continue to recruit there, but the pool of opportunities for future graduates might have potentially been narrowed.

    I’m sure that strong industry networks and connections aren’t as much of a concern for ultra-wealthy families addressed in this post, but my point is that there are many other great (and more affordable) universities out there that can provide the support students need to launch their career. As a hiring manager, I frankly just wanted people on my team who were hungry to learn and pleasant to be around 8+ hours a day :)

  5. First off Sam you are hilarious. I laughed the whole time I was reading this but in all seriousness. There is nothing that would make me commit a crime for my child unless it’s literally life or death like John Q. My child needs likes a life changing surgery sure but college admission no. Like it’s not that serious especially since the whole reason we go to college is to make money. Some of these kids didn’t even want to go to school, which is even crazier these parents were bribing and going to jail over this. The sense of entitlement and privilege is absurd because there are people who really 1. Want to really go that school and 2. Work hard to try to get in since they don’t have rich parents to fall back on.

    Smh makes zero sense to me!

  6. I value education and truly believe there is a huge difference between schools – all degrees are not created equal. Having said that, even if you could cheat your way into a top school – I don’t know how you would stay there. My daughter was a straight A student in high school, got a good ACT score, and went to a very good school. She’s gotten a few Cs, a bunch of Bs, and fewer As. The problem is, everyone at her school was a top 5% of their high school class, and the classes are super hard to challenge all the students.

    If you cheating to get into a top school, I’m guessing you would either need to keep cheating to pass your classes, or you would flunk out fairly soon.

    1. I donno. It feels like the hardest part about getting into an elite university is getting in. Staying and graduating is much easier because life is good, you can do course load manage (super senior 5th year), and your teachers want to help you learn and graduate. If you don’t graduate, it hurts the stats for the school and the school’s rankings.

      1. Maybe, not sure either. I generally think the difference between a 25 and 35 score on an ACT test is huge, and the person who got the 25 isn’t capable of performing much better – they are at the maximum of their intellectual capacity. The person that got the 35 is pretty darn smart, and if you go to an elite school where everyone got straight As in HS and super high ACT/SAT scores, the “lesser” people would be at a disadvantage, or need lots of extra help just to make it.

  7. So I don’t think many of these parents were doing this to give their kids a better life. They were doing it for their own ego and pride so that at cocktail parties they can say little Susie goes to USC and Bryan goes to Harvard. Most of these parents have the resources and connections to get their kids a killer job at a great company out of school regardless of which university they graduated from. Further, many of them have their own companies and can just give the kid a highly paid job there after graduating from any school. They did it for pride so they can brag on where their kids go to school. Which I actually get. I went to a tiny school that’s not impressive and part of me always wishes I went to a school I could be proud of. That being said, I still make way more money than the average Harvard MBA grad so it all worked out for me. I own my own company so it doesn’t matter where I went to school.

  8. Depends where u are heading. If u want to be a teacher it probably does not matter where u go to college. If u want to be a pediatrician it does not matter which medical school u go to. If u want to be an ophthalmologist/orthopod probably easier coming from a top tier medical school. Bottom line is that there are loads of talented and hard working kids chasing a limited number of positions. Parents just trying to help. There are many ways to help without breaking the law.

  9. I wouldn’t risk jail time to get my son into a particular college. That’s more personal belief than anything else. Going to a famous university doesn’t guarantee success for life. My brother went to Harvard and he’s a normal doctor. Most colleges are the same, IMO. It only makes a big difference in a few fields. If you want to be a politician or maybe go into finance, it might be worth it.

    I might risk a few months of jail time if it’s something that would really set my kid up for life.

    1. Drs Gan and Mo

      Couldnt agree more; the school you go to wont determine your success in the future. We went to school, graduated and practicing as doctors. Your success is determined by the effort and hard work you put in.
      Also, for those parents who are buying their kids way into schools they are definitely not painting a good example for their kids to follow

  10. I have 3 children in top ranked schools including Harvard. Ton of money but im honored to pay the bill. Would be a harder choice if it required debt. I like to use my money for education rather than spending it on cars/second home/etc . There is no guarantee they will end up more happy/successful going this route but clearly more potential opportunity than the state university i went to. I have a hard time believing u are going to pay the extremely high costs of SF private schools including pre-school, but then promote the idea that top colleges are not worth the price. I suspect u as well would be happy to pay for a top college if ur kids were admitted

    1. Congrats! I’m sure it feels great and you must be proud.

      Honestly, I’m less than 40% sure I’m willing to pay for private grade school. After two months of no preschool (son had only been in preschool for five months, we’re in a groove.

      We really want to consider homeschool as we’re teaching him so much. And when travel is open again, I think it would be great to travel and learn. What an adventure it would be! And in 15-18 years, I’m not sure if college will even be necessary.

      Let us know what your kids do after graduating. GL!

      1. Hi Sam, what are your thoughts on college not being necessary in 15-18 years? I personally don’t think that it is worth the high costs in many cases.


        1. The value of a college degree is depreciating every year. Think about how useless a college degree is for millions of graduates this year who can’t get a job or one in their field. It’s terrible. It’s too risky to spend 4-5 years and all that money to pay for college anymore.

          I’d rather teach my children about business and investing and have them do something more entrepreneurial after HS if they are mature enough. Let’s see.

  11. By the time such news of cheating goes mainstream, it’s old news and entrepreneurial parents have already moved on to more sophisticated way of opening doors for their kids. For example, I have heard amusing stories about when parents are advised to lawyer up and official sounding competitions with judges funded by parents. Of course it’s predetermined who gets the gold, silver and bronze.

    There’s a true story I heard that taught me to never show myself cheating, lying or stealing in front of my kids.

    A criminal shared that he grew up so poor that his family couldn’t even afford a pencil. But his desire to learn was so great that he stole a classmate’s pencil. He was excitedly doing his homework when his mother walked in. He was expecting her to punish him, but instead, she turned around and pretended not to see the pencil in his hand. He said that was the beginning of his criminal life.

    1. Kids really are observant of everything aren’t they? We adults must watch ourselves and our old habits. Hopefully kids will make us more responsible people. I think they do.

  12. I grew up lower middle income, divorced family. Graduated from a State U with a not so great GPA. Worked all 4.5 years of college. Partied way too much and paid off my student loans (yes plural) myself in full, 6 years after graduating. Today, I own a small business and employ 2 other people providing a secure, fun work environment. Ironically, one of my employees has a degree from a much more prestigious school.
    I am prepared to see my three daughters through school without having to incur debt. However, I expect them to be self sufficient, upstanding members of society after graduation. My goal has been to provide them with the necessary tools to understand the way the world works (financial and otherwise) throughout their time with me. It remains to be seen how it turns out, as they are still in Highschool, but I am optimistic and hopeful.
    Hell no, would I risk going to jail/prison to ensure their future.


    1. Hi Jim – What are your thoughts of having your daughter pay for some of the school with PT work or with debt so they can feel the financial burden and appreciate school more like you have?

      When you got to pay for school, I think you will take school more seriously.

      1. Sam, you are so spot on. I read your response and felt inclined to respond immediately. Around my house, we have many conversations about the fact that you do not appreciate what you have if you haven’t worked (contributed) to it.
        My oldest is 17 (she is our parenting guinea pig). We are learning from our mistakes with her. She wants to be a teacher like her mom. As a junior in Highschool, she takes college courses concurrently through an agreement with her Highschool and the college in our town. She is on pace to graduate Highschool with 54 college credits (essentially completing her freshman and sophomore years). She does 9 credit hours each semester and 9 credit hours in the summer, while her peers work, hangout, etc To me, this feels equivalent to working. She may also play volleyball in college, further reducing her debt load.
        I guess I’m taking each daughter in a more specialized view. But yes, I strongly feel that they should have some ownership/skin in the game to help “pay” for their education. I will certainly encourage any of my daughters to work part time in school. I always wonder if I’d feel differently, more adamant, if I had sons? I know that sounds bad, but as a Dad if daughters, I just want to protect them.


        1. Btw. I should mention our Highschool pays for 6 of the 9 credit hours each semester. I end up paying for the other 3 credit hours. But get this, my bill for the remaining 3 credit hours is around $250 each time! It’s part of a college/Highschool agreement at our charter school. An unbeatable deal.

  13. Just watch “The Emperors Club” for the best lessons about this subject. Cheating always has consequences

  14. I take this article with the hint of sarcasm it was hopefully purposefully written with. One thing is true- the penalties are a joke. The institutions and those accepting the bribes should bear the biggest burden when it comes to paying the price. Hopefully, the scandal will at least tarnish their images a bit. An idiot with a degree or an idiot with lots of money is still an idiot.

  15. What would be an interesting little research project would be to track the snowflakes spoiled rotten by their morally bankrupt parents. I’ll take even money in the long run they will run into all kinds of difficulties as mommy and daddy’ s ability to fix everything for them eventually runs it’s course and then left to their own survival instincts it won’t end well.

  16. Is USC even worth bribing into? They have so many seats and so many international students. I thought as long as you can pay for it, a seat is guaranteed…

    1. For these parents, yes. Even USC has gotten highly competitive to get into over the past 25 years. In the past, it was not the case. That’s hyper competition for you!

      The latest USC acceptance rate is only 16%.

    2. From the doctor friends that have been sending their kids to USC, pretty much most of them were accepted to decent UC schools (UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC riverside) and then chose UCS I think because it’s an easier experience. Things are more handed to you at private schools. Much more expensive definitely. I haven’t seen anyone turn down Berkely , UCLA or USCD for USC. I don’t think it’s worth it. I’m from california and my parents paid for ivy league because Harvard had a >90% acceptance rate of getting undergrads into medical school. That was my jutsification when I was 18. But now with our kids, I don’t think I’d pay for USC over a top 3 UC? Mr. Plastic Picker and I would probably pay for a small IVy or Georgetown but I think USC is totally overrated. From the doctors that we hire, the ones that come out of UCLA undergrad, medical school and residency are phenomenal. They have somewhat of a big city edge to them, and realize how competitive the world really is. Anyway, just random thoughts. California residents are super lucky still with the UC system. I have family that lives in New York so their options are more limited. SUNY and CUNY. My niece from Long Island got into USC, UC Berkely, UCLA, Georgetown. She ended up staying in New York at NYU because she got into Stearn. But I can see why she would go to UCS if it was the choice between USC and one of the SUNYS/CUNYS. Again random thoughts. Now that our kids are older and doing well, I really think the name of the schools are overrates and it’s always the kid more than the school. But if we’ve saved the money anyway?

      1. Yes, UCLA and UC Berkeley have been and still are much harder to get into than USC and more highly rated. However, USC has narrowed the gap.

        The thing with public versus private now is that if you have an outstanding individual who went to public university, you know they got in via merit and there is no doubt about his or her abilities.

        With so much of the private university admissions process being exposed, there is A LOT of second guessing now from kids who graduated from private schools e.g. are they rich boosters, did they bribe, are they legacy kids, etc.

  17. I mostly retired early because I saw other people in my industry sector and corporate position plead guilty to felonies even though they had broken no laws. If you don’t believe that is a real thing then you’ve led a sheltered life or don’t understand how federal investigators and prosecutors work. Nothing is worth that risk. Plus there is scant evidence that a degree from a top school, earned by a kid not smart enough to get in legitimately, is worth any more than a degree from a more affordable state U.

      1. I have to be vague, these are real people who pled guilty for a light ankle bracket home arrest sentence rather than face decades in the penitentiary if a jury of their peers found them guilty. They can’t later claim to be innocent publicly without committing perjury so I’m protecting my sources. The standard of guilt on environmental crimes isn’t whether you knew one of your subordinates was falsifying reports but whether you “should” have known. A jury of lay people can be easily convinced a chemical engineer “should” have known what one of his hundreds of employees was doing wrong, I mean he’s the boss, right? Prosecuters negotiate plea bargains like that all the time because a year of house arrest is survivable, 20 years in the pen is not. It’s despicable and it scared me into early retirement, which I’m glad about because I love it!

  18. I would rather educate my kid to be on her own two feet. Smart and hard working people can have a pretty fulfilling life. If she’s going to be studious and hard working as she’s already, then she’ll have no issues getting a decent life. We’re already preparing her to think about a nice easy to run small business, so that she’ll never have a lousy job. If you don’t squander your money, you can live off a pretty small income and still be very happy with your life.

  19. Absolutely not! This is just plain wrong. What kind of life lessons are we giving our children. Shame on those parents and anyone who think there’s nothing wrong with this just out of principle. I’m livid even thinking someone would contemplate doing this. We need to teach our children that there is a right and wrong way of doing things. Some things are just morally and ethically wrong, and this is one of them. Work hard, do your best. Success isn’t meaningfully measured by how much you have in the bank. It’s how you lived your life and those you helped with love and compassion because it’s the right thing to do. Disappointed there wasn’t an option to simply say ‘none, because it’s not the lesson I want to teach my children.’

      1. Possible, but kids aren’t dumb. And if they didn’t know before, they know now. If one had a proctor sitting next to her correcting her test, she surely knew. I have four grown sons and they have grown into fine young men. Grew up overseas – much of that time in developing countries. We had little money most of their childhood. However, they had a stable family, parents who cared about them and others, and taught them to also care about others – not just themselves. They had some homeschooling, some public schooling, put themselves through college with minimal assistance from Dad and Mom. And got in college on their own merit. They’re doing fine. Not millionaires, but we don’t care. We live ‘simple’ lives. Buy used cars when the old ones give out. Don’t worry about fashion or fads. Do our best to help in our communities. No debts except mortgage; good savings and don’t feel the need to ‘have to have a million to have a kid’. We sure didn’t when we had our sons. I think there’s too much worry about having ‘enough’ saved up before having a family. Truly don’t understand the focus of some to plan their child’s future in such detail. If your family is stable, and you love your children and teach them to respect and be understanding of others, I trust things work out. May not always be a direct route, but I feel it’s good to be flexible and be able to adjust and chart another way if one way doesn’t work. Patience, perseverance, kindness and determination are more ‘valuable’ than money. Many people can make money, not everyone has character and is loved and respected by others. Which do we want for ourselves and our kids? Money is not inherently bad, but obsessing about it does more harm than good in my opinion.

        1. On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to have kids without thinking about costs/money, because that just makes you broke and if you never get out of that hole, then you’ve taught your children to be poor*. Not something any parent would want.

          * Being broke and being poor are not the same. Poor is more of a state of mind.

  20. I agree with you regarding real estate and refinancing your mortgage. I am closing this week on a 10/1 at 2.875%.

  21. Early on when my first child was a baby, I wanted to make life as easy as possible for my first child and any subsequent kids. I even thought about how much money I want to pass down in the future.

    But as I’ve gotten older as well as my children, that feeling of needing to provide beyond age 18 went away. If I can cover a significant part of their college tuition, then great.

    After that, they are on their own. Hopefully, I’ve done a good enough job to instill the right characters in them for them to be happy and successful as adults.

  22. u have a hangup about college and yet pay 30k a year for pre-school. Everyone is interested in helping their children in this competitive world including u. Bribery is going too far but think about donations u are expected to make at ur childs pre-school

    1. Personally I fail to understand why their children were permitted to remain in school and/or keep their degrees. They should have been immediately removed. To me it is the equivalent of receiving stolen goods and being able to keep them. This would also have been a much better deterrent than jailing the parents. You wouldn’t have even had a poll to publish!

  23. We’re these fines and a little ‘time out’ for the parents just an additional cost of getting their unqualified kids into elite schools, or were their kids also removed from the rolls of the Universities as they should have been?

    1. I think the kids have been removed unfortunately. Therefore, before a parent decides to bribe, the parent also has to consider the shame that befalls upon the kid.. who is probably not complicit.

  24. I was really surprised at their plea deal. Crazy how off the justice system seems sometimes. I had some great laughs reading your post. Then I laughed some more at how serious some commenters responded because they failed to see the humorous tone of the article. Lighten up folks! :O)

    The admissions process for colleges needs a good overhaul, especially including tuition given the movement towards online classes. A lot will change in the next several decades.

    1. Yeah, I was surprised at some much more angry commenters that you don’t see b/c it added zero value to the conversation.

      Im looking forward to the no college degree necessary in 15 years standard. Whoo hoo!

  25. Unless Kids is going to MIT or Stanford for computer science/engineering then they would be so much better offering them to just go instate to a state school and offering the savings from not paying for private towards their 1st rental property or business startup.

    Otherwise what is the point of paying so much to send a kid to private school to major in philosophy, history, or english ?

      1. The UC system just voted unanimously 23-0 to stop using the SAT & ACT as a requirement for admission. Unbelievable. How will the UC system have any reliable and objective
        criteria for admitting students?
        High school grades today are inflated into the stratosphere. Grossly under qualified ‘students’ will be flooding the once-great University system. Many of the college graduates that I work with in the Bay Area have an education worse than the high school education that I received in the 60s.
        UC is on its way to becoming a very large community Junior College.

        1. Hello,

          The SAT & ACT are not “reliable and objective” criteria for admitting students. There are very smart students whose intelligence cannot be measured by a”standardized” test. I have personal experience in this and have seen both sides of the story first hand.

          My son is one of those individuals who is not good at taking a standardized test. My son was designing and creating circuit boards at age 15. However, his SAT and ACT scores were not considered “high enough” for many engineering schools that required these scores.

          He applied to an SAT & ACT optional engineering school and submitted a paper showing his circuit board designs along with sample circuit boards. He did not submit any SAT or ACT scores to the school. He was accepted early action. He graduated with honors and just before graduation was offered a Research Assistantship which gave him a full scholarship for his master’s degree plus an annual $28,000 stipend.

          Now my daughter is also very bright and could pass a standardized test with ease. She was a National Merit Scholar and therefore had scholarship offers pouring in every day!

          My daughter attended college on a $100,000 National Merit Scholarship. Conversely, I had to pay nearly full tuition for my son because his mechanical mind could not be measured by a mainly reading and writing test.

          Fortunately, my son found an open-minded school that gave him the ability to show his potential and then deliver on that potential.

          I applaud the UC system, and other schools, for using alternative methods for accepting students whose brilliance cannot be measured by standardized tests.

          Next, UC and other schools, need to start awarding scholarships to these students too and stop giving scholarships based simply on standardized test scores.

          Financial Dadvisor

          1. I’m excited there is a movement away from SATs. Or at least making them optional so kids can focus on other subjects and activities.

            It’s a trend towards democratizing access to college, no matter your background/level of wealth.

  26. What is it with this set your kid up for life nonsense. What happened to prepare your child for life and then allow them the opportunity to make it on their own merit. It’s hard so is life but it’s the only way to truly “make your way” in the real world. All these snowflakes we have today are the result of being set up for life. There are no short cuts. Really

    1. If you set your kids up for life then they don’t have to go through the struggle to be successful. They can drive around in their BMWs and invite their friends to their new condos as soon as they graduate. They will be the envy of all their friends.

      1. Linda Mccormick

        LMAO…….bribing officials for your kids only sets them up for a lifetime of bribing. There’s no valuable skill set in bribing. Allow them the opportunity to thrive or fail on their own. Learn the lessons from failure, it makes the successes even sweeter.

  27. Counterpoint: Let your kids struggle a little. You likely did.

    Set all that bribe money into a trust to give them, once they’ve experienced the real world and formed their own character.

    Having gone to a fancy school on merit with kids who got in on wealth, there is a lot of waste for a kid who isn’t ready to seize the opportunities of that environment. On the networking side, just summer in the Hamptons or whatever if you are worried about your kid hanging with the right people. Plenty of legal ways to pay for access.

  28. No. It’s morally wrong and that example has now ruined your children and your grandchildren. As someone who went to an Ivy League, if you had to do an underhanded thing to get your kid in – they probably couldn’t do well there anyway. Getting Cs and Bs at Harvard isn’t going to get you anywhere anyway. Why in the world would anyone bribe themselves to get into usc?

  29. Guess I saved myself jail time and a lot of money and embarrassment- my son attended Yale the old fashioned way- He was academically qualified.

      1. He graduated awhile ago- 2006- works at a hedge fund. At that time I think all in for room, board, tuition it was about $50,000. Best investment we ever made (at least for him).

    1. The college landscape has changed drastically since 2002. Admittance rate for Yale went from 13% to 5% and “holistic” review was not a thing back then. The vast majority of students are academically more than qualified but there are not enough spots.
      Would never cheat for my children – college admittance has become an absurd, deeply flawed and perverse game.

  30. I always wondered, are there different prisons for white collar crime? I guess if you are as rich as Jeffrey Epstein, it doesn’t even have to be white collar crime, you get VIP treatment until you screw up a little too much for the injustice to escape the public eye.

    But what about those medium worth white collar criminals who cannot make multi million donations to sheriff’s departments, prosecutors and their supervisors? Are they getting thrown in with serial rapists and LA gang members?

    1. spaceassassin

      Yes, there are different prisons based on security level, and there are numerous factors that go into where you are required to serve the time, but at a basic level its heavily grounded in the violent nature of your crime and/or person. Everything is about limiting security risks in prison, and a serial rapist or gang member is likely profiled as a much higher security risk than most white-collar criminals, so there is a very slim chance they would ever be in the same prison, but even if they are, certainly not the same facility within that prison.

      Even money won’t help pick your location at this point. Bernie Maddoff and El Chapo aren’t ever going to be at the same prison despite their multi-billion dollar net-worth.

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