The students who were admitted over others had ‘connections’ to donors and staff. Would it be fair to assume this happens at many schools?

NPR reports:

Audit: University Of California Admitted 64 Students Over More Qualified Applicants

The University of California was found to have admitted at least 64 students over more qualified applicants because of the students’ connections to university staff or donors, according to a California state audit released Tuesday.

The audit investigated four campuses — UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara — from academic years 2013-14 through 2018-19 and found that the campuses failed to evaluate students fairly and to develop adequate and standardized admissions processes.

Auditors found that UC Berkeley admitted 42 applicants because of their connections to donors and university staff, including one example where a regent violated university policy by improperly advocating for a student. Most of these applicants were white and at least half had annual family incomes of $150,000 or more. These students do not include two already identified in the 2019 national college admissions scandal, according to the audit.

“The pervasiveness of this problem at UC Berkeley demonstrates that campus leadership has failed to establish a campus culture that values commitment to an admissions process based on fairness and applicants’ merits and achievements,” auditors stated in the document.

Of the 64, there were 22 applicants falsely admitted as student-athletes “as favors to donors and friends,” despite having little demonstrated ability and not participating on the teams long term. In some cases, the university seemed to admit applicants in exchange for promised donations to the athletic department, according to the audit.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.