As “the land of opportunity,” success in America was once possible for anyone. Recently, however, this equal opportunity for every student became highjacked by the machinations of select elite, wealthy families. The now infamous college bribery scandal has exposed the corruption of a higher-education process in the United States that sometimes accepts the progeny of the wealthy and politically powerful, bypassing regulations. Acceptance into prestigious colleges and universities has now become a status symbol for some families and an advantageous place for their sons or daughters to meet a marriage partner and reinforce the social walls that keep others out.

Underscoring the prohibitive conditions of elite colleges and universities are the results discovered at Stanford in 2011. A professor at this university, along with a colleague, taught a class on Artificial Intelligence. Curious about the consequences of offering the material of their course online, the professors permitted anyone who was interested in enrolling in the online course for free on Stanford’s website. One hundred sixty thousand people signed up for the course, and to the professors’ further surprise, those who scored the highest on the final exam were not from Stanford. In fact, the highest score of a Stanford student was ranked 413th.

Not only has the college bribery scandal brought to light the corruptive power of the wealthy class in America, but it also points to the barriers created by certain colleges. As demonstrated by the Stanford professor’s course offer, many bright and talented young people, who either lack the finances or who are employed, are not afforded the privileges of access to courses that fit their talents and schedules. Statistics also show that a growing number of people change jobs every few years because they are not receiving the training they need to land a satisfying career.

The College Bribery Scandal exposes the truth that not everyone at prestigious colleges possesses the potential needed to sustain the country’s progress while others who are talented and have potential are unable to attend colleges. A recent study by Korn Ferry research predicts that a labor-skills shortage in telecommunication, media, and global technology will rise to 4.3 million positions. There will also be an unrealized output of almost $450 billion. In 2019, the Conference Board ranked attracting and retaining top talent as their number one internal concern. But, no nation can develop and retain talent if it does not afford young people access to knowledge and skills.

About The Author
Yuri Vanetik is an Entrepreneur, Private Investor, Coalition Builder, and Philanthropist in Orange County, California. He is the Managing Partner of Vanetik International, LLC, a management consulting firm which offers advisory services and strategic planning to businesses and industries. He is also the Managing Partner of Dominion Asset Management, a technology-driven opportunity real estate fund that invests in undervalued real estate throughout the United States. Yuri Vanetik brings over 20 years of professional experience in a variety of roles, and has been featured in notable publications, including the Wall Street Journal, California Business Journal, Forbes, and Entrepreneur.

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