I won’t go over the most recent news about the shenanigans of Hollywood actresses and rich executives. Let’s just acknowledge this cheating has been going on for years.
What’s the solution? It’s so simple it will scare the living hell out of college officials and college consultants who help families get their children into college.
I’ll start off with the remedy that comes in two parts:
1. Fire every single college admission official at every college and university, which will save parents billions of dollars in tuition fees that pay for salaries, and
2. My profession will cease to exist and save families millions of dollars.
You want a level playing field? Do you want your child to have an equal chance for admission?
Okay, those are dumb questions.
Here’s how it can be done:
1. Colleges will only accept your child’s GPA and SAT/ACT scores to determine admission. That’s all. Follow the example of the testing services: everything is computerized. No humans are making decisions. You child’s GPA “is what it is,” and so are the testing scores.
Your child either meets the college’s standard GPA and test score, or s/he doesn’t. Period.
Colleges become blind to gender, race, and ethnic identity. Admission is only granted to those who submit their results first, and scholarships are distributed to those scoring the highest on a predetermined scale.
Athletes would submit their own winning numbers in high school, such as the number of touchdowns, strike-outs, and whatever else proves achievement.
The word “deserving” is obsolete. A list of extracurricular activities, the application essay, and letters of recommendation can no longer be submitted.
2. People in my profession become obsolete. We can no longer coach students on how to write an essay that showcases personal beliefs and experiences, why extracurricular activities demonstrate a commitment to something, or why a teacher’s observations of your child are revealing.
We can only recommend websites that lists each college’s GPA and test score requirements, but who would pay us for that? Such information would be free, of course. I’m out of a job.
Tutors who specialize in improving math and reading skills, along with test scores, will thrive, and the tutoring industry will expand. All perfectly legitimate.
In short, the computer decides: GPA and test scores only. The field is finally level.
If my suggestion were implemented, a new scandal would begin to brew. High school officials and their teachers would come under scrutiny for grade inflation.
Parents, instead of trying to bride college officials, will turn to their children’s high school teachers and coaches who are always claiming, with some justification, that they are underpaid.
Underpaid signals vulnerability. And that means the doors will be wide open for a scandal of a new kind.
Parents won’t need to come up with millions of dollars, just a few thousand. More parents will be part of the scandal because a few thousand is a whole lot cheaper than a million. These scandals are like two buckets in a well: as one goes down, the other goes up.
My proposal could end the college scandal, but our culture won’t let it happen: colleges and churches, once the thought leaders we could depend on for moral guidance, have surrendered all pretense of morality.
Anyone attempting to establish a renewed standard of morality will be immediately destroyed by the intolerant armies in social media. No one will stand up to them without great risk to their reputations or to their personal safety.
So let’s pretend (!) my proposal works. But it starts a new one in high schools. Cheaters will always exist. Which means I have no solution for the high school scandal. Not yet anyway. I’m just getting started.
I’m Paul Hemphill, and I charge a lot less than $500,000 for my services.