Cheating to enter elite schools is a matter of social status

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My best friend from high school and I were both accepted into Ivy League schools. We refused. We both got substantial scholarships, so it wasn’t the money. But we felt more comfortable going to schools close to our rural Pennsylvania homes with our family and friends nearby. But more importantly, we didn’t think attending an Ivy League school would make a difference in our lives. And we were right. We have both done well in our respective careers.

Joseph Bentivegna MD

But 45 years later America has changed and entering an elite school has become an obsession with the wealthy and upper middle class of America. Our children are tortured by SAT preparation classes, diarrhea contracted during a Third World humanitarian project, and personal trainers trying to turn them into world-class lacrosse players. So, it’s no surprise that a recent scandal has uncovered a network of corrupt trainers, SAT-taker mercenaries, and unscrupulous test correctors dedicated to gaming the system.

Attending an elite school makes entering the American ruling class much easier. Having Harvard or Yale on your resume greases the slippages of becoming a business leader, a federal judge, a leader of a large bureaucracy, an influential journalist, or a great politician. All presidents since Reagan, including President Trump, have attended Ivy League schools. Each Supreme Court judge has attended an Ivy League law school. Many of our very wealthy on Wall Street have Harvard Business School or Wharton on their CVs.

But most of the people who go to elite schools never do very well. Studies have shown that those who refuse admission to Ivy League schools have similar income levels to those who attend, indicating that America is still a meritocracy that rewards intelligence and ambition. regardless of their origins. The chemicals at Yale’s organic chemistry lab react in the same way as those at Housatonic Community College. So why are so many of our citizens not only obsessed with paying too much for an elite school, but willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to cheat for admission.

The answer is social status. Nothing turns heads at a cocktail party like mentioning that your daughter has just entered Princeton. Wealth can buy you a 6,000 square foot house, a Manhattan condo, a Mercedes Benz, Alessandro Démesure shoes and a Hermès alligator handbag, but for the Me generation, nothing validates the importance of self like her child in an elite school.

The skeptical reader need only witness the indignation suffered by the authors. Actress Lori Loughlin is accused of paying $ 500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters seen as recruits for the University of Southern California crew team. Apparently neither of the two girls can row. For this allegedly heinous crime, she had to pay $ 1 million bail and hand over her passport! Such treatment is usually reserved for ax murderers.

America needs to relax. Our children will be fine no matter where they go to school as long as they have a work ethic and we do not allow the socialists who now lead the Democratic Party to destroy the country. Also, as my high school buddy and I found out, if you really want to impress people, tell them you got an Ivy League acceptance but turned it down. Not only will this improve your social status, but you can boast that you saved your parents a few dollars and avoided being brainwashed by trusted liberal teachers.

Joe Bentivegna is an ophthalmologist at Rocky Hill.

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