Monday, July 20, 2009

Snakes Selling Oil

by Andrew Gillen

Jacques Steinberg writes about a ridiculous industry charging families an average of 185 an hour for help in applying to college. One such person is Michele Hernandez, who charges more than $40,000 and says "It’s annoying when people complain about the money".

In the words of Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, "I guess there are snake oil salesman in every field... and they are preying on vulnerable and anxious people.”

The whole situation is disgusting. At best, the customers are victims of fraudsters who've come up with an elaborate con. At worst, they are actually getting what they think they are (a better chance of getting into top schools), and making a mockery of the supposed meritocracy of higher ed in the process.

1 comment:

capeman said...

Hey, you guys think higher ed is a ripoff, that people would be better off in community colleges (but apparently, as long as they are private and preferably for-profit).

So why should you care about the so-called "meritocracy"? Who cares who gets into the so-called elite schools?

And who cares about people getting ripped off? They're not exactly mental incompetents, are they? It's their money, let them do what they want with it.

That's the American way, right?

You kind of sound like the local radicals if they were worried about the rich people buying a car from the Mercedes dealer.

You should be happy if they're getting ripped off!

Or is there still some resentment among the guys who are stuck with the Chevrolet?