I know a high school senior who’s so worried about whether she’ll be accepted at the college of her choice she can’t sleep.
The parent of another senior tells me he stands at the mailbox for an hour every day waiting for a hoped-for acceptance letter to arrive.
Parents are also uptight. I’ve heard of some who have stopped socializing with other parents of children competing for admission to the same university.
Competition for places in top-brand colleges is absurdly intense. With inequality at record levels and almost all the economic gains going to the top, there’s more pressure than ever to get the golden ring.
A degree from a prestigious university can open doors to elite business schools and law schools – and to jobs paying hundreds of thousands, if not millions, a year.
So parents who can afford it are paying grotesque sums to give their kids an edge.
They “enhance” their kids' resumes with such things as bassoon lessons, trips to wildlife preserves in Botswana, internships at the Atlantic Monthly. They hire test-prep coaches. They arrange for consultants to help their children write compelling essays on college applications.
They make generous contributions to the elite colleges they once attended, to which their kids are applying – colleges that give extra points to “legacies” and even more to those from wealthy families that donate tons of money.
You might call this affirmative action for the rich.
Excuse me, but this is nuts. READ MORE