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Legacies, full pay and donors. Misguided anger?


Replies to: Legacies, full pay and donors. Misguided anger?

  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,131 Senior Member
    @hebegebe That's a great way to consider it.
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    @hebegebe: definitely agree with your basketball analogy. The elite schools have no incentive to change. Plenty of students who are begging to attend, and donations pouring in. However 90% of the rest of schools in this country are starving for good students. Something really needs to change. Students and parents have very little control. Basic economics of supply and demand don't seem to work.

    Every graduating medical doctor in this country goes through a matching system (National Resident Matching Program or NRMP) to find a residency position. In this system, students apply for residency programs, and after interviewing produce a rank order list. Residency program directors do the same. A computer algorithm is then used to match students to the highest program that also ranked them. This leads to a more equitable system, and doesn't leave all of the power in the hands of the colleges. While a computer algorithm could handle 20K med students, not sure how well it would work with 2+ million high school graduates. The other problem with a matching system is that most students need financial aid awards at the same time as acceptance to make a decision. But having some sort of computerized ranking system would definitely restore the balance of power.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,600 Senior Member
    Option 2 also allows you to replace your Center and not your whatever the other players are called. (So not a basketball fan!)
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    @sgopal2 This system also includes the interviews which are make or break in many cases. That’s highly subjective. And there is a review of the total package.

    The matching is done after these steps. It’s more like a dating site than UG admissions.
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    Agree that the NRMP is a bit different. But why can't a matching system be implemented in college admissions? Suppose there was a way to incorporate interview feedback and the other subjective factors? Why couldn't colleges simply provide a list of their top picks in rank order?

    I can imagine a two-staged approach, where students rank their colleges in order, followed by how much money they would be willing to spend per year. For instance I might be willing to pay $15k per year to go to Dartmouth, but $0 per year to go to local state school:

    1. Dartmouth College, $15,000
    2. Emory University, $12,000
    3. Johns Hopkins, $12,000
    4. Univ of Pennsylvania, $11,000
    5. Drexel University, $5,000
    6. Penn State University Park, $1,000
    7. West Chester U, $0

    The colleges would then create a similar list, but then listing how much financial aid they would be willing to give each student.

    1. Student A, $50,000
    2. Student B, $44,000
    3. Student C, $42,000
    4. Student D, $38,000
    5. Student E, $33,000

    Then throw everything into a computer, and find out the best match. Students would then end up at a college as high as possible on their list without paying any more than it was worth. This would avoid a lot of game playing that goes on now with the ED1/EA/ED2/RD and waitlist rounds.
  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    @sgopal2 Seems a lot like...Questbridge
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,498 Senior Member
    Seems a lot like...Questbridge

    Although since the Questbridge process involves only high-financial-need applicants, the expected net prices should be known beforehand and not that different, removing the variability of cost and financial aid differences from the match process.
  • RayMantaRayManta Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    edited March 14
    The system is broken, and I find the entire process depressing.

    My perspective on this has changed recently due to personal experience, so please bear with me. My kids will both be full pay--not because their parents have high salaries (we are both federal government employees), but because all their grandparents had the misfortune of dying and leaving us some money. I'd rather use that money to help my kids with a down payment on their first homes, and possibly to retire early, but instead much of it will go to the colleges they decide to attend. If my parents and in-laws were still alive, we'd qualify for some aid, and later in life my kids would receive that financial help when they needed it (not to mention that they'd have the wonderful experience of growing up with grandparents). Our money is not endless, and being full pay will really, really hurt psychologically. After all, my parents were the sort of people who never went on vacation, drove old cars, lived in a tiny house, didn't even have cable TV--they just saved every penny--and now that gift they have left us will be decimated. So, in return, why shouldn't my children be able to attend the schools they want, if they are qualified? Why shouldn't they be considered over other similar applicants? If being legacy at Brown gives my daughter a second look, I feel no remorse about taking advantage of it.

    This is not just an issue of rich vs not rich, privileged vs, non-privileged. There is a very, very large gray area where parents are expected to surrender a pound of flesh nearest their heart. It's not unreasonable to try to get the most value for that flesh.
  • CaviteeCavitee Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    There is a fascinating conundrum that exists on cc. It’s the undergrad doesn’t matter go to the least expensive school you get into and save the money for grad school vs a quality education is outrageous and unaffordable to anyone not making high six figures.
    The bottom line (and I say this to my patients all the time) - “Here’s what it costs for option x vs y vs z. Each has pluses and minuses. The cost for each of the options is fixed the VALUE to you is what matters.”
    If you get into Harvard without any aid or scholarships and it has a VALUE of $80,000/yr you find a way to pay and don’t look back. If it doesn’t there are plenty of other great alternatives that are far less costly.
    I’ve raised eyebrows on here because I live in North Carolina and my daughter will be attending UVa OOS next year as opposed to UNC IS. To me there is VALUE and the cost is $160,000 more...
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 14
    You’re entitled where to spend your 160k. It’s your money and your child’s education.

    To be fair. Most people don’t have that choice or if they do not believe unc offers an experience worth 160k less than uva. Many people would do the opposite.

    Usually with in state schools there isn’t enough pizazz or perceived reward as being unique enough for the star student. Too many other kids go and it doesn’t seem that great. Except to the oos looking your state school as the dream opportunity. Human nature is a funny thing.
  • CaviteeCavitee Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    I agree it’s an unpopular stance and not one many people would make. But I feel like it’s a bargain compared to what Lori Loughlin paid for USC.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    @Cavitee We can’t take it with us anyway. Go Cavaliers!
  • pickpocketpickpocket Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    edited March 15
    @Cavitee You are not alone, and I don't think it's really an unpopular stance. Many of us parents feel it is totally worth paying significant $$ for the tip top education that we determine will be the best for our child, despite there being cheaper options. While we can empathize with families that don't have the luxury of choice, we also can look back and recognize that our child's education is exactly what we have been saving for for many years.

    And to bring it back to @privatebanker 's original premise, I do come to agree there is more good than harm by allowing a small number of acceptance-due-to-big-donation (so long as the student isn't a total moron.)
  • Fisherman99Fisherman99 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    I'll take publics over privates any day of the week and avoid scandals that will keep happening!
  • tkoparenttkoparent Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I am late to this thread and haven't read every post, but private banker surely was prescient in raising these issues way before this week's scandal broke. I was also the first person in my family to go to college. When I applied back in the Age of Paper, neither my parents nor I had any idea what we were doing, and my high school guidance counselor was worse than useless. Not surprisingly I made a mistake, chose the wrong school and ended up dropping out after two years. I worked for a while at some interesting jobs, went to trade school and eventually realized college probably wouldn't be worse than that. So I graduated from an open admissions state college and went on to an Ivy law school. (I am a good standardized test-taker and had quite a story to tell at that point.) Fast forward many years, and I am working with my son on his college applications. We are living in Asia and my son goes to a school where more than half the kids will go to college in Europe, so we have not been as immersed in all of this as someone living in the States might be. In any event, I had assumed that my background would be helpful in getting through this process, but, honestly, the thing that has struck me is how hard it is, how complicated, how strategy-driven. I am, like many of you, a chronic investigator, so I've studied this site, read books and so on and so on, and I think we've done alright. But to think that a kid working through this on his or own, or parents who haven't been through the process themselves and aren't able to devote an enormous amount of time and energy, could figure out even what the possibilities are seems crazy. A low-income family may simply assume they can't afford anything other than a community or state college, without even knowing about scholarship possibilities, Honors Colleges, merit money, EA, ED and all the rest. Even leaving aside the issue whether any preferences afforded to legacies, donors and athletes are appropriate (I generally think they are OK at least in a private school system), there are still an awful lot of opportunities available, but being able to access those opportunities is critical. Maybe some kids have keyed-in guidance counselors to point them in the right direction, but that's probably only a lucky few. I'm not sure what the solution is. Ideally, you would want to see an admissions system that is simpler and less driven by strategies keyed to the USNWR rankings, but that seems a way off. In the meantime, finding some way to help kids identify and maximize their opportunities however they are situated would be great, probably some kind of online tool - maybe this would make a great EC for some eager-beaver applicant.
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