Can't Look Away From The College Admissions Scam? Read These 3 Books

By Kerri Jarema

It used to be that Varsity Blues was known as nothing more than a James Van Der Beek-led football film from 1999. But when news broke earlier this week about Operation Varsity — a.k.a. the biggest college admissions scandal to be prosecuted in the U.S. — the term became synonymous with an entirely different kind of drama. Here's the backstory: at least 50 people, including actress Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, are facing federal charges for allegedly scheming to secure their children's admission into elite schools through at least two kinds of fraud: Paying to help their children get better scores on tests like the SATs, and bribing college coaches and athletic officials.

The explosive story has rocked the world of the country's wealthiest elite families, exposing what some may have only guessed at in the past: Those with great privilege can always cheat their way into more. But whether the scandal has you enthralled, angry, or some combination of the two, you probably want to learn more about the many ways that the wealthy elite scam their way into enrollment at the country's most prestigious colleges and universities. Below are three books that explore the true price of college admission:

'The Price of Admission' by Daniel Golden

In The Price of Admissions, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes the corrupt admissions practices that favor the wealthy, the powerful, and the famous — including some well-known names like Harvard graduate Jared Kushner.

Click here to buy.

'The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton' by Jerome Karabel

If you want a clear idea about the current state of college admissions in the U.S., you must read about the long, fraught history of the Big Three Ivy Leagues: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. In The Chosen, Jerome Karabel walks you through that history — and why it's important in the discussions about modern admissions.

Click here to buy.

‘Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life,’ by William Deresiewicz

A former Yale professor, William Deresiewicz offers a unique perspective on one of the country's most elite schools. In this book, he takes the entire university to task.

Click here to buy.