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Is it Possible to Buy (or Bribe) Your Way Into U.S. College?

buy bribe college admissionThis is going to an interesting topic for sure – Is it Possible to Buy or Bribe Your Way into U.S. College?

  • Bribe  –  Paying Cash or Favors to  Admission Director to get admission
  • Buy – Donating ton of money to college funds

Let me give an insight about engineering college admission in India (in Tamil Nadu).

About 65% of  students are admitted via single window admission system. This is purely based on students qualification and academics.  There is quota based on Caste which has to be considered. But, for this argument, lets just consider 65% is based on academics.

Rest 35% of students can pay their way into a college. If a student can’t get admission via single window admission system, they can pay or use influence, political power to get admission in top colleges or colleges of their choice.

If the college is known for higher quality of education, larger the amount of money one has to pay.

I think for an Electrical Engineering admission, students have to pay $25,000 under Management Quota plus regular tuition fees.

Is it possible to get admission in a prestigious university in US by paying money?

Looks like it is possible.

Here is an example about Stanford University admission

In 2011, Stanford alumni gave 36 percent of the $709 million raised by endowment that year. That amounts to over $250 million raised in a single year from alumni contributions.

Reichelstein acknowledged the presence of an informal donation threshold to receive a spot at Stanford but again declined to state the specific amount.

At least two sources connected to the Stanford admissions process – who requested anonymity – told us the threshold for preferential treatment was $500,000. Stanford officials refused to give a specific figure for this article.

Smith and Reichelstein both stated that informal agreements are worked out between the admissions department and large donors, and those agreements consider both the amount the person has donated and their plans for future donations.

Wall Street Journal published how much money is required at different schools

The question for many parents is how big is “big”? The price for special treatment rises with the college’s endowment.

Educational consultants say a five-figure donation — as low as $20,000 — is enough to draw attention of a liberal-arts college with an endowment in the hundreds of millions.

That’s a relatively modest sum compared with the $140,000-plus parents pay for four years of tuition and housing.

pay for admission
Source – WSJ

At an exclusive college, it can take at least $50,000 with some assurance that future donations will be even greater. At top-25 universities, a minimum of $100,000 is required; for the top 10, at least $250,000 and often seven figures. Parents who aren’t that flush can compensate by pledging stock or a portion of their estate through various deferred-giving arrangements.

Educational consultants say it’s a good idea for parents to pave the way early. Donate at least $2,500 to $5,000 annually — even sporadically — to the favored school even before the child is old enough to apply. Development offices look kindly on consistent givers, in part because the influential U.S. News and World Report rankings use the percentage of alumni who donate as an indicator of student satisfaction. And a philanthropic track record boosts hope for future donations.

How about Bribing Admission Director?

Well, I’d say good luck with that. This is what an admission officer has to say about bribes

A few weeks ago, a parent tried to offer us a cash bribe. The father of an applicant came into the admissions office and dropped off an envelope with $1,000 in it. He’d previously made an appointment, so we had his name and address, and we sent it back right away. Lots of people try to bribe more subtly. When we’re out on the road recruiting in the fall, people will offer to take us out to dinner. I always just say thanks, but that I have plans. One father also tried to leverage his connections in the business world, telling me he’d help me get a job if I got his kid in, which was a bit insulting. I told him I liked my job and field and had no interest in his business contacts.

So, we know you can pay your way into top colleges in U.S.A.

But, this might not be the easiest way for most students applicants.

But, at least you know if you have a target school and have enough money, then you can pay your way into top U.S. University.

Over to You

What do you think about paying your way to college admission by donating millions of pay for management quota in India?

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  1. Intensely shocked not to see any comments on this topic!!!!!!!!!!
    My reaction to this article was “HA HA!”. Earth is round, merry go round! Yes admisions to US schools can be bought is following ways:

    1. By paying money
    2. You being a top businessman’s son/daughter in ur country. (Ambanis hold Wharton & Harvard degrees, ever wondered how?).
    3. Being son/daughter of influencial politician (MP, CM, Minister etc.)
    4. being a son/daughter of some very famous personality (say a daughter of Operah Winfrey).
    5. by honestly working on your academics right from the beginning and hoping to get in.

    In US everything is ALWAYS a business, its a win-win situation for student & university. you pay thru ur nose to get a degree that has prestige and get ur career going, US universities get huge dollars!!
    Why indian students are more adaptive to learning and grasping despite poor infrastructure at Indian universities as compared to other countries? many reasons!
    i personally believe, its the student who matters, his abilities cannnot be enhanced to make wonders however classy educational infrastructure you offer him. sometines a student who dont take quick ladders to success may have to struggle/strive but fruits are rewarding! yes its possible to manufacture brilliant students from these Universities (this a very popular debate in B Schools whether a leader is a always born leader or he can be manufactured in Universities.) but its the innate ability, depth of understanding, and imagination power that makes wonderful leaders in every sphere of life! you gain these qualities during ur upbringing. you might say, when intelligent students get further aid to expand their horizons in the universities like say MIT / Harvard / stanford, but i ask, at what cost?? we should always ask this Question to ourselves “at what cost??” it gives magical answers in any situation!

  2. In my view, there should not be any paid-quota and caste system any where on this earth whether it is US or India. It suppresses actual talent of qualified people. It is not necessary that qualified people belong to certain caste or they do have huge money to buy a seat. We should give leverage to poor people by giving them facilities to study well, not by reserving their seats in colleges whether they are qualified or not.

  3. They should get rid of the caste based quotas first; tough to get into good colleges (with the course you want) if you’re not a BC or SC.

    1. This suggestion is totally not possible in India. Dont you know that for starting an Engg college in India, one has to pay a bribe of 25 crores and a bribe of 300 crores will get you a medical college. Even for a dental college, you will have to pay 10 crores. For running a medical college, you dont need a full fledged hospital, Even a small nursing home will do if the amount is right.That is India..

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