Lastest College Admissions Scam: Buying Your Teen a "Peer-Reviewed Paper"

I can’t believe all the ways these anxious, wealthy parents get scammed out of money. Well, at least they can afford it. Better to have the scammers doing this than selling high-fee annuities to the elderly.



These dubious tactics aren’t confined to high school level…haven’t been for a long time, in fact. A good many credulous folk get their health and science information via gussied up press releases with banner headlines that come our way on a near daily basis.

My “war on Science By Press Release” has taken the form of advising folk to read the primary document rather than the advertising copy (as Olde Tymers on the H&N board could attest) Increasingly, though, the “primary document” has taken on a resemblance to what’s described in the article or … worse yet … a pre-print

There are any number of predatory journals that’ll take the submissions (and $$$bucks) of desperate PhD chasers and sundry resume padders and run with it under the guise of a peer reviewed publication.


That’s the way the world works. If you reward “peer reviewed bulsh…papers”, then you will get an industry centered around provided them. Same with some college admissions lately, if schools refuse to use things like standardized test scores, and instead use “softer” things like “leadership” skills in organizations, then an industry centered around providing organizations that require leadership will form.

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The “soft” BS has been a part of major college admissions since before there was dirt.

Before the renovation, the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids had the notes of the U of M admissions officer about Jerry, with comments like “good looking”, and “family background: none too good”. (for those who don’t know, Jerry’s mother divorced his biological father, moved to Grand Rapids, remarried, and Jerry took his step father’s name, becoming Gerald R Ford Jr.)

U of M still uses a lot of garbage, like if you were high school class president, or active in some civic group, in addition to academic criteria. All Whatsa Matta U cared about me was if I had a passing score on the SAT, and I could pay the $17/credit hour that they charged.

We look at each student as a whole package, a combination of talents, interests, passions, and skills. In this way, we can look beyond grades and test scores to recruit the most dynamic group of students possible. A wide variety of backgrounds, intellectual passions, and interests make up the typical applicant. What they share is a drive to pursue academic excellence in a challenging and rewarding academic environment…We value the whole record — excellent grades in rigorous courses, top ACT/SAT scores if provided, participation in extracurricular activities, professional arts training, and evidence of leadership, awards, and service.