Here’s the high-priced advice college applicants buy that doesn’t trigger the FBI

Porcelain Pencils by Katharine Morling

The FBI just announced a sting operation that caught 50 rich and famous parents paying millions of dollars to bribe and cheat to get their under-qualified kids into top colleges (and, mysteriously, some not-top colleges). Last year a magnet school in Louisiana, which had been celebrated for getting poor minority students into top schools year after year admitted to lying and cheating to get the kids in.

I’ve been convinced that the college system is broken for a while, so I spent a good part of last year interviewing high-priced college consultants (many who are former staff on admissions committees to top-flight schools).  My goal was to figure out what sort of advice these consultants give parents. I didn’t receive any illegal advice, but I was shocked by how many corners you can cut without breaking any rules.

Here are some tips I learned:

Move to Wyoming.

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