Looks like the scope of the guardianship-transfer-for-financial-aid fiasco is growing

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The first reports of a new college admissions scandal indicated the scheme was in play in Illinois. A small number of minutes research on the ol’ net shows the scandal is now open in Missouri.

With a sinking feeling, I am wondering where else this will show itself.

Scheme reportedly exists in Missouri

Kansas City Star – 8/5/19 – Did rich Missouri families give up custody of kids to get college aid? How’s that legal? Cases have been found of families in Missouri transferring guardianship of children in order to get financial aid.

Editorial says staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology have identified two dozen possible cases while less than 10 possible cases have been found at University of Missouri. Editorial says reviews are still underway at other schools in the state.

Article suggests this fiasco may be more widespread that the ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ admissions scandal. If there are a couple dozen cases in Illinois that pan out and closing in on three dozen in Missouri, that already puts the number of families involved in this mess at a higher count than the previous admissions scandal.

Inside Higher Education – 8/5/19 – Ethical College Admissions: Fool Me Twice. Editorial is by the director of college counseling at a school in Virginia. He points out there are now two major incidents in which “scandal” and “college admissions” appear in the same sentence.

Author thinks this fiasco is worse that the pretend-your-child-is-an-athlete way of buying an admissions slot. In this situation, for each student awarded aid in Illinois, there was one actually poor student denied financial aid.

ProPublica Illinois – 8/8/19 – At Hearing on Financial Aid Scandal, Lawmakers Grill Officials and Look to Close a Loophole. Lawmakers quizzed college officials and state officials trying to figure out what happened. The legislators are struggling with what could be done to fix this fiasco. This issue is so fresh nobody knows quite what to do.

Danger

Author of the Inside Higher Education article is concerned this pair of scandals will damage the reputation of the entire process of college admissions. Yeah, sounds like a reasonable worry.

The part that should upset a lot of people is these two fiascoes feed what appears to be a growing sentiment that there is a separate set of rules for the rich and elite. That will not work out well.

Colleges in general should be concerned this may feed a perception that lack of attention by the schools allow a side door or back door for admissions. Even worse might be emergence of a perception the doors are open willingly.

I sure do hope the newest scheme is closed down fast.

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