Elsewhere online
December 01, 2015

Report: Gift Prospects Come Up in College Admissions Process

A Chronicle of Higher Education review of nearly 2,000 pages of emails from U.S. public universities shows that trustees often advocate with admissions offices for children from wealthy and well-connected families, sometimes dangling the prospect of big donations if particular students are accepted.

The newspaper analyzed internal communications from 13 institutions as part of a larger examination of interactions among board members, top administrators, and admissions officers amid growing perceptions that the application process is skewed in favor of children of privilege.

The review turned up numerous cases of campus leaders inquiring about the fate of individual applicants, and two instances in which a Florida State University trustee injected potential gifts into the discussion. "Trustees grouse when their friends' children are not admitted," the Chronicle writes, but also "worry aloud about crossing a line with their advocacy."