What DOES it take to get into college nowadays?

Spin the clock back to the spring of 1981.  My high school guidance counselor is helping me fill out college enrollment applications.  He knows I need to get out of Albany and away from my toxic home life.

I also know that one of my beloved high school teachers, Bonnie Diefendorf (God rest her soul) had brothers that went to Hamilton College, and because of that, my guidance counselor suggested I apply there as well.  At the time, I was kinda hoping that UAlbany would take me.  Getting into Hamilton was essentially a “Hail Mary” pass.  Come on, a kid from the streets attending a Little Ivy school on any sort of scholarship?  Right.

But somehow, I did land an enrollment.  Hamilton accepted me.  Funny thing is … I still haven’t heard from UAlbany on their decision.  You would think that after nearly 40 years, they might have made SOME sort of decision on my application… 😀

That being said, I got into Hamilton the way most students get into college – I busted my ass in high school, and a college alum put in a good word with the applications department on my behalf.

Apparently, though, “good words” aren’t good enough to get into college these days.

This is based on the current scandal involving organizations who take and offer bribes to get privileged students into major colleges.  You know … designating an applicant as a student-athlete, forging pictures showing that student-athlete in some sort of athletic endeavor, paying a few million under the table, and faster than you can say “matriculation,” the kid’s a student at Harvard or at USC or at Stanford.

And among the families who have squeezed their kids through this process  are actresses Felicity Huffman (who allegedly paid $15,000 to an organization to help her daughter get into college, including having her daughter take SAT tests at an off-campus site) and actress Lori Loughlin (she and her husband allegedly paid over $50,000 to get their two kids into USC by suggesting they were student-athletes on the crew team, despite neither kid being on a crew team in high school).

Yeah, same old story.  Privilege gets you whatever you want.  The rich get richer and the poor get the picture.  The caste system is alive and well in America.

So maybe I went about this college application thing all wrong.  I thought you earned a college degree by working your tail feathers off, studying hard, getting a decent SAT score, and then, based on all your efforts, a college would allow you to enroll in their program.

Wow.  I guess what I really needed back in 1981 was some rich parents, a separate SAT testing facility where the proctors would correct my answers after the test was completed, and that I should have listed my high school sporting achievements.

That’s what I should have done.  I should have used my old photos for all the years I played with the Albany Patroons.  All those great dunking photos.  Heck, here’s one from my photo roll I could have used as part of my application process.

Damn, I looked buff back in the day, didn’t I?

I guess this college enrollment scandal just goes to show the true nature of the Golden Rule.

You know what the Golden Rule is, right?

Those that have the gold … make the rules.