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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Rick Gorvett - Director, Actuarial Science Program
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:04 PM
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Default Does the clout admissions scandal affect your feelings about the U of I?

They're making U of I out to be a place for crooks and the well-connected. I know I got in without any assistance (not too long ago) and it doesn't really change my feelings about the institution.

Anyone have any strong feelings about this?
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:46 PM
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I am bothered by it. I think someone should lose his/her job over it. If an undeserving student got admission because his/her family had political connections, it is a blemish on the reputation of the university as a whole.


I live in a Chicago suburb that has very well regarded public schools. It bothers me that the U of I rejects many applicants from my neighborhood because they have an implicit hard cap on the number of students that they will take from my local high school. It bothers me that out of state students get preferred admission criteria because the university seeks out their tuition differential. I think an ACT of 30 should get you in. The Chicago Tribune story centered on a kid that got a 34 and failed to gain admission. That is just wrong, even into the College of Engineering. More weight should given to an applicants ACT score than high school class rank.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:34 PM
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That kid should have definitely got in. I know when I was applying most kids from my school that were in the AP classes and had ACTs of 28+ got accepted. How a kid with a 34 ACT didn't get in is despicable.

The only problem with only forcing out university officials is that I have no faith in the people of Illinois to vote out the corrupt people who were unduly using their influence to get subpar candidates accepted.

The other issue is that the list of "Category I" was so small compared to the total applications, it's kind of seeming overblown. IIRC, the Category I list was 800 total over 5 years. With 20,000+ applying a year, that's a pretty insignificant amount. I could be misremembering those numbers though.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:04 PM
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I haven't been reading the stories, so maybe I'm missing a lot, but I'm just kind of surprised that anyone is surprised about it. I'd always assumed there must be that kind of thing going on. For one thing, I'd always assumed that any good athlete in a money sport was cut incredible academic admissions slack, although I can't say I know that is really the case (however, I *do* know of TAs who received phone calls from the athletic department to apparently try to pressure them to raise grades) And, while I never heard it said about U of I, I had always assumed that there must be slack cut for kid's of (rich) alumni. In the New England, where I lived for a while, that is spoken of positively as "maintaining family tradition".

By the way, I'm not for any of the above.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:21 PM
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There was a piece today in the Trib by Eric Zorn (I think) that said it's not all that surprising given the fact U of I receives public dollars from the state. Given that the state can cut the funding, there is some kind of implied pressure for the admissions folks to accept their candidates in order to maintain their funding.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:32 PM
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This was so going on even when I was there, which feels like forever ago... Kids from the northside always had it way harder than city kids or even rural kids to get in.

Semi-related: When I was in school, I knew of a person that lied about their ethnicity to get in, and their ACT was garbage. I think it's easy on both sides of the equation to get away with a lot of things in that application process...
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glassjaws View Post
The other issue is that the list of "Category I" was so small compared to the total applications, it's kind of seeming overblown. IIRC, the Category I list was 800 total over 5 years. With 20,000+ applying a year, that's a pretty insignificant amount. I could be misremembering those numbers though.
Pg 13 of the Tribune today has a list of all the officials that made the requests, and the number of successful appeals. Maybe "hundreds" of appeals is a small percentage (probably less than 1%), but reading the list on a full page of the Trib long format sure makes it seem much more damning.

Guess who was at the top of the list. Michael Madigan. What a surprise! {not}
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