The saddest part of the breaking scandal involving the corruption of the admissions process at a number of elite colleges around the country is that it was all so unnecessary. An inspiring example of how admissions SHOULD work is provided by Princeton University, which will initiate its Princeton-PLUS program for a limited number of incoming students in September 2019.
What is Princeton-PLUS? According to Christopher Eisgruber, the school’s President, it’s nothing short of an “educational revolution.” Here’s the story, in his words:
“At Princeton we’ve been educating the ruling class for nearly three centuries, and doing an excellent job of it. However, there is a problem. We take pride in our high academic standards, but many children from elite families are, to put it bluntly, irredeemably stupid. I’m talking rock-hard dumb — as solid and impenetrable as topaz. These kids are way too dim to be accepted as legacy students; they would flunk out in the first semester. Sure, we could let them go to Rutgers, but it would be unconscionable to forfeit all the endowment money that these students potentially represent. Don’t forget, their parents are BEYOND loaded.
“With Princeton-PLUS, the cognitively challenged offspring of the super-rich can get a Princeton degree without having to take a bunch of pesky classes. In fact, they won’t be taking ANY classes. Rather, they’ll spend four years doing the most important thing that Princeton students have always done: NETWORKING with other members of the privileged class. In this case, they will be networking with individuals who are a lot brighter than they are.
“Each year of Princeton-PLUS will have a different focus. Freshmen will explore the World of Finance (e.g., daily badminton and croquet matches with successful hedge-fund managers, venture capitalists, high-end defense contractors, and pharmaceutical CEOs). Sophomore year will focus on Connecting with Old Money (Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies, the House of Medici, etc.). This will be followed by Junior Year Abroad (current locations include Windsor Castle, Versailles, the Vatican, and a Motel 6 in Dubai). In their fourth year students will finalize the membership of their personal support network as a capstone project. At the Spring Cotillion in May, each senior will be presented with a life partner whose high-quality eggs or sperm will ensure the intellectual enhancement of the next generation.
“By the time students graduate from Princeton-PLUS, they should be well-positioned to take their place alongside students who have received a traditional Princeton education.
“Tuition for Princeton-PLUS will be $3 million per year, which includes room, board, all networking opportunities, and one life partner. This is a small price for parents to pay to achieve the goal of never having to worry about the future of their dimwitted progeny once the latter are sent off to college. In many ways, we see this program as a public service.
“If Princeton-PLUS is successful, we will begin offering the program to our cognitively gifted applicants in September 2025. By 2050 we would like Princeton-PLUS to be the curriculum followed by all of our students, thereby eliminating the need for faculty. Doing this would significantly reduce our operating expenses, enabling us to invest more heavily in networking, which is our core competency.”
Now, THAT’S an admissions process we can all be proud of.