03/15/2019

Liz Peek: College Admissions Scandal Disproves Claim That Rich Get Whatever They Want

Liz Peek, Fox News

Reaction to the college admissions scandal has been quick, righteous and predictable. It has also been wrongheaded.

Accusations that dozens of parents in some cases paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or over $1 million to get their kids into prestigious colleges by falsifying their SAT or ACT scores, or by misrepresenting their sports abilities, have been seized upon by leftists as further evidence that the U.S. skews in favor of the rich and famous.

But in some ways the story says just the opposite. If the children of well-known Hollywood actresses or rich business executives were automatically admitted to the school of their choice, they would not have had to resort to perpetrating these offensive frauds. The Key, the firm behind the alleged swindles, would not have been in business.

As she took the SATs, Isabelle Henriquez, daughter of parents charged by federal prosecutors, is alleged to have sat with a proctor who provided her with answers and helped boost her scores by 320 points, to 1,900 out of a possible 2,400

But despite the considerable jump, Isabelle’s test results would still have been too low to get her into Georgetown University. So authorities say that William Rick Singer, founder of The Key, also helped her create a phony claim that she was a top-notch tennis player.

To cap the deal, Singer allegedly paid one of Georgetown’s tennis coaches hundreds of thousands of dollars to award Isabelle one of the squad’s cherished spots, assuring her admission.

Isabelle’s father, Manuel Henriquez, was paid more than $8 million last year by the venture firm he founded. If money was all it took to get his daughter into Georgetown, he had the wherewithal to make that happen. But his daughter didn’t have what the university was looking for and it appears that short of cheating, her father could not buy her way in.

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