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Wealthy Parents Give Up Child Custody For College Financial Aid

Dozens of suburban Chicago families, perhaps many more, have been exploiting a legal loophole to win their children need-based college financial aid and scholarships they would not otherwise receive, court records and interviews show. Coming months after the national “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal, this tactic also appears to involve families attempting to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive and expensive college admissions system. Parents are giving up legal guardianship of their children during their junior or senior year in high school to someone else — a friend, aunt, cousin or grandparent.

Help Today’s College Students As We Did For Previous Generations

When I speak on college campuses, I ask students to write the amount of debt they anticipate graduating with on a slip of paper. In a recent class of 25 undergraduates at Boston College, just eight will graduate without debt, either because of full scholarships or family wealth. For the rest, an imposing debt looms — $40,000 on average, but with six reporting more than $150,000. Can you imagine being 22 and having $150,000 in debt? This is generational abuse. Previous generations were propelled forward by free or very low-cost higher education at land-grant universities and robust free college systems in states like California and New York.

A Michigan College-Bound Student Was Among The 35 Beheaded By Saudi Arabia

Mujtaba al-Sweikat was only 17 years old when he was detained by the Saudi Arabian government in 2012 for the alleged crime of attending a pro-democracy rally. He’d been planning on leaving the country to attend Western Michigan University, where he’d been accepted as a student, and was in fact detained at the airport as he was preparing to board an international flight to the United States. But al-Sweikat was convicted based on a confession extracted via torture and beheaded on Tuesday along with more than 35 other men who were executed for various crimes — most having to do with pro-democracy demonstrations and denouncing the authoritarian regime, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Protests Prompt Beloit College To Cancel Erik Prince Lecture

BELOIT — Beloit College canceled a lecture by former Blackwater head Erik Prince Wednesday after protesters disrupted the planned talk. Students piled chairs onto the stage where Prince was to speak at the small liberal arts college and pounded on drums ahead of the planned address, which was to be hosted by Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative student organization. The school announced the event was canceled at about 8:15 p.m. Prince, a former Navy SEAL, rose to prominence during the Iraq War when his private security company received lucrative government contracts and came under scrutiny when several Blackwater employees were involved in the shooting deaths of 14 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

The Real College Admissions Scandal

In what’s being called the largest college admissions scam ever, a number of wealthy parents, celebrities, and college prep coaches have been accused of offering large bribes to get rich students into Ivy League schools, regardless of their credentials. The parents facing charges allegedly paid up to $6.5 million to get their kids into college. Shocking as it is, this is hardly a new phenomenon in higher education. Wealthy and privileged students have always had an upper hand in being accepted to prestigious universities.
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