Satire: What were Loughlin, Huffman & other parents thinking in college admission scandal?

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Neurotic Parent&nbsp;and USA TODAY have&nbsp;managed to get ahold of the transcript of a conversation between a desperate aspiring Ivy League parent and a cooperating witness from Key Worldwide Foundation, the organization that pocketed $25 million in bribe money to get children into elite colleges. Here is the transcript in its entirety:” data-reactid=”9″>The Neurotic Parent and USA TODAY have managed to get ahold of the transcript of a conversation between a desperate aspiring Ivy League parent and a cooperating witness from Key Worldwide Foundation, the organization that pocketed $25 million in bribe money to get children into elite colleges. Here is the transcript in its entirety:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: Hi, I’m calling from the set of a new Hulu romcom and I’m looking for a college counselor for my son. One of my co-stars recommended your service.” data-reactid=”10″>Desperate Parent: Hi, I’m calling from the set of a new Hulu romcom and I’m looking for a college counselor for my son. One of my co-stars recommended your service.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: Of course. We’re delighted to hear that you have your son’s best interests at heart.” data-reactid=”11″>Cooperating Witness: Of course. We’re delighted to hear that you have your son’s best interests at heart.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: Yeah, he’s a good kid. And such a pro at Fortnite. But he panics when he takes tests, even though he’s not that bad at HQ.” data-reactid=”12″>Desperate Parent: Yeah, he’s a good kid. And such a pro at Fortnite. But he panics when he takes tests, even though he’s not that bad at HQ.

Lightake WW

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: I feel you.” data-reactid=”13″>Cooperating Witness: I feel you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: This ACT he’s about to take will affect his whole life. We made sure he got into the best kindergarten, and then an amazing private school…thanks to my agent. She sent out a memo to the whole agency to find out who was on the board.” data-reactid=”14″>Desperate Parent: This ACT he’s about to take will affect his whole life. We made sure he got into the best kindergarten, and then an amazing private school…thanks to my agent. She sent out a memo to the whole agency to find out who was on the board.

In New Haven, Connecticut, on May 20, 2013.In New Haven, Connecticut, on May 20, 2013.
In New Haven, Connecticut, on May 20, 2013.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more commentary: ” data-reactid=”26″>Read more commentary:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Flashback: Our flawed college system takes toll on families years before tuition is due” data-reactid=”27″>Flashback: Our flawed college system takes toll on families years before tuition is due

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Don’t assume high school graduation fraud is only in D.C. It’s not.” data-reactid=”28″>Don’t assume high school graduation fraud is only in D.C. It’s not.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="I was assaulted at Berkeley because I’m conservative. Free speech is under attack.” data-reactid=”29″>I was assaulted at Berkeley because I’m conservative. Free speech is under attack.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: That’s what agents are for!” data-reactid=”30″>Cooperating Witness: That’s what agents are for!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: But when we went to Malawi last summer so he could found an orphanage, he failed the drug test because of one little edible he needed for the plane. The system just isn’t fair!” data-reactid=”31″>Desperate Parent: But when we went to Malawi last summer so he could found an orphanage, he failed the drug test because of one little edible he needed for the plane. The system just isn’t fair!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witnesss: Of course not. It’s never been. Why should one exam or one transgression influence his whole future? What he needs is extra time – double time! triple time! We can arrange that. And in case twelve hours in our state-of-the-art facility isn’t enough, our compassionate proctors will help him get his numbers up.” data-reactid=”32″>Cooperating Witnesss: Of course not. It’s never been. Why should one exam or one transgression influence his whole future? What he needs is extra time – double time! triple time! We can arrange that. And in case twelve hours in our state-of-the-art facility isn’t enough, our compassionate proctors will help him get his numbers up.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: He tanked on his third ACT and got a 21, so it might be a red flag if the score was above a 32. Or maybe a 33.” data-reactid=”33″>Desperate Parent: He tanked on his third ACT and got a 21, so it might be a red flag if the score was above a 32. Or maybe a 33.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: We’ll aim for the 31-32 range.” data-reactid=”34″>Cooperating Witness: We’ll aim for the 31-32 range.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: Will that get him into Yale? Or his safety, Wesleyan?” data-reactid=”35″>Desperate Parent: Will that get him into Yale? Or his safety, Wesleyan?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: Once we tweak his GPA, teacher recs, essays and extracurriculars, it will. He rows crew, right?” data-reactid=”36″>Cooperating Witness: Once we tweak his GPA, teacher recs, essays and extracurriculars, it will. He rows crew, right?

‘We take PayPal and Venmo’

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: Um…he shops at J. Crew. And we went kayaking in Maui when he was nine.” data-reactid=”38″>Desperate Parent: Um…he shops at J. Crew. And we went kayaking in Maui when he was nine.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: That counts. Just send us a photo of him on the beach wearing an unstructured jacket. That, along with 400k wired to Gluten Anonymous will entice the coach. We take PayPal and Venmo.” data-reactid=”39″>Cooperating Witness: That counts. Just send us a photo of him on the beach wearing an unstructured jacket. That, along with 400k wired to Gluten Anonymous will entice the coach. We take PayPal and Venmo.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: But what if he gets in and doesn’t actually join the crew team? Won’t they notice that he’s out partying at 5am instead of rowing? He is an influencer on instagram and someone might notice.” data-reactid=”40″>Desperate Parent: But what if he gets in and doesn’t actually join the crew team? Won’t they notice that he’s out partying at 5am instead of rowing? He is an influencer on instagram and someone might notice.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: No worries. Everybody quits crew the first semester anyway. It’s too cold in Connecticut to even think about going near a river; they’ll understand.” data-reactid=”41″>Cooperating Witness: No worries. Everybody quits crew the first semester anyway. It’s too cold in Connecticut to even think about going near a river; they’ll understand.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: My husband said I was going overboard with the micromanaging. But all students get help from parents, right?” data-reactid=”42″>Desperate Parent: My husband said I was going overboard with the micromanaging. But all students get help from parents, right?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: Of course. For a while those affirmative action kids were taking all the spots. Now diverse students are getting in legitimately, go figure. The middle class can no longer afford the elite schools so there’s less competition, but we still have to do what we have to do. As long as U.S. News &amp; World Reports randomly ranks schools, parents will lie and cheat so their kids don’t go somewhere embarrassing.” data-reactid=”43″>Cooperating Witness: Of course. For a while those affirmative action kids were taking all the spots. Now diverse students are getting in legitimately, go figure. The middle class can no longer afford the elite schools so there’s less competition, but we still have to do what we have to do. As long as U.S. News & World Reports randomly ranks schools, parents will lie and cheat so their kids don’t go somewhere embarrassing.

‘Top schools are begging us to cheat’

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: Yeah! The top schools all send brochures enticing my son to apply so they can turn him down and their rankings will go up. If nobody ranked the schools, my husband and I might be okay with sending him to one of the 3500 institutions where he could still get a fine education. Those top schools are basically begging us to cheat.” data-reactid=”45″>Desperate Parent: Yeah! The top schools all send brochures enticing my son to apply so they can turn him down and their rankings will go up. If nobody ranked the schools, my husband and I might be okay with sending him to one of the 3500 institutions where he could still get a fine education. Those top schools are basically begging us to cheat.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: This is age old. Who hasn’t given their kids a boost? How is this any different from getting inspiration from Nelson Mandela or Gloria Steinen for essays. Or asking your guru for a rec from the Dalai Lama.” data-reactid=”48″>Cooperating Witness: This is age old. Who hasn’t given their kids a boost? How is this any different from getting inspiration from Nelson Mandela or Gloria Steinen for essays. Or asking your guru for a rec from the Dalai Lama.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: So it’s not cheating! It’s just gaming the system, no worse than what Jared Kushner’s parents did.” data-reactid=”49″>Desperate Parent: So it’s not cheating! It’s just gaming the system, no worse than what Jared Kushner’s parents did.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: Back in the day, you put your name on a building to get your kid in, but there were no guarantees. Today, you can pay a legit counselor $3500, hold your breath and pull strings. Or you can give us $6 mil and rest easy, because we guarantee admission to your kid’s first-choice school.” data-reactid=”50″>Cooperating Witness: Back in the day, you put your name on a building to get your kid in, but there were no guarantees. Today, you can pay a legit counselor $3500, hold your breath and pull strings. Or you can give us $6 mil and rest easy, because we guarantee admission to your kid’s first-choice school.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Desperate Parent: The bottom line is I want my guy to have every opportunity that hardworking, qualified kids have.” data-reactid=”51″>Desperate Parent: The bottom line is I want my guy to have every opportunity that hardworking, qualified kids have.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cooperating Witness: Trust us, that can be arranged. And we’ll even find a suitable tutor, because once he gets in it could be….challenging. But what isn’t challenging about being a young person these days? Or even worse, a concerned parent.” data-reactid=”52″>Cooperating Witness: Trust us, that can be arranged. And we’ll even find a suitable tutor, because once he gets in it could be….challenging. But what isn’t challenging about being a young person these days? Or even worse, a concerned parent.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Judy Rothman Rofé is the author of "The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing &amp; Micromanaging" and The&nbsp;Neurotic&nbsp;Parent.&nbsp;Follow her on Twitter:&nbsp;@neurotic_parent” data-reactid=”53″>Judy Rothman Rofé is the author of “The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing & Micromanaging” and The Neurotic ParentFollow her on Twitter: @neurotic_parent

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" .oembed-frame { width:100%;height:100%;margin:0;border:0;} ” data-reactid=”54″> .oembed-frame { width:100%;height:100%;margin:0;border:0;}

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.” data-reactid=”55″>You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Satire: What were Loughlin, Huffman &amp; other parents thinking in college admission scandal?” data-reactid=”56″>This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Satire: What were Loughlin, Huffman & other parents thinking in college admission scandal?

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