College Admissions Scandal Exposes the Lie of Meritocracy

March 14, 2019: The ENGLISH Professorional posted this article on LinkedIn

Among the consulting services I offer at The ENGLISH Professorional is helping students academically prepare for and succeed in college. This New York Times‘ article, “‘What Does It Take?’: Admissions Scandal Is a Harsh Lesson in Racial Disparities” (, speaks directly to the necessity of my commitment to giving motivated students a leg up in an arena that is steeped in racial and economic inequities.

This scandal provides more evidence of this fact: the widespread belief that merit, rather than privilege, determines success or failure in the world is demonstrably false. As a consultant states in the article, the scandal “’exposed the fact that there is a misplaced emphasis on so-called affirmative action inequities rather than on privilege.’” For many Black college applicants and students, the admissions scandal offers a timely reminder that life’s rewards–college admission, jobs, money, power–are not distributed according to skill and effort. Rather, they’re accorded in a vast affirmative action scheme by which the affluent have long gained unmerited advantages.