Searching For the Silver Lining

“You Can’t Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow’s Ear.” What you can do is tan the ear and make a leather pouch. No, it’s not silk but it is useful, functional and much more attractive than the ear you started with. By now you are probably asking yourself what this has to do with college admissions. Well, the sow’s ear represents the continuous efforts of parents and students to game the admission system. The silk purse/leather pouch is an attempt to find something, anything to help decrease the annual insanity that is college application season.

There are examples throughout history of wealthy people getting what they want regardless of popular opinion against their efforts. Instead of attempting to address each new scheme with laws and regulations, why not find gauge how badly the perpetrators want the thing that is just out of their grasp? Here is my idea… Any college that cannot accommodate the majority of their applicants be allowed to designate a small percentage of the seats in their freshman class as “Bid Positions”. Any desperate parents could try this option instead of seeking a side or back door into the college. This option would work just as its name implies. The parents would submit a sealed bid that adhered to the following parameters:

Ÿ Tuition and fees paid in full without any form of financial aid supplied by the college.

Ÿ The number of additional students demonstrating financial need that they are willing to fund at the same level as their child

Ÿ One additional funded position dedicated to the state for support of underrepresented populations in college.

            *Students not meeting the minimum admissions standards for the school in question would not be considered.

Before you drag out the tar, feathers and rail, this is just an idea that surfaced after hearing about, reading about and talking about the latest scandal and considering all the scandals that came to light in previous years. With all the money passing under the table for the opportunity to spend more money paying for an education; wouldn’t you prefer it benefit underprivileged youth instead of lining the pockets of the best conman? I know this is not “the” answer but it is “an” answer to help cast a light into the dark corners of the college admissions process. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. Maybe one of them will stick and begin to help repair our broken admissions system.

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