The Atlantic

Readers Respond to Caitlin Flanagan’s Argument on the College-Admissions Scandal

“Her conclusion at the end that the traditional donations … actually does significant good for underprivileged students is questionable at best and likely closer to flat out false.”
Source: Brian Snyder / Reuters

They Had It Coming

Nearly 30 years ago, as a college counselor at a top school in Los Angeles, Caitlin Flanagan discovered that the school’s impressive matriculation list was not the simple by-product of excellent teaching, but was in fact the end result of parental campaigns. “I thought that whatever madness was whirring through the minds of the parents was a blip of group insanity that would soon abate,” she wrote recently. “It has only gotten more and more extreme.”

In part, Flanagan argued, this comes as a result of a changing America: “The collapse of manufacturing jobs has been to poor whites what the elite college-admissions crunch has been to wealthy ones: a smaller and smaller slice of pie for people who were used to having the fattest piece of all.”

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