Really? This is the direction you decide to go in...allowing for the defense of these people? If anyone is at all familiar with the legal loopholes in our system - that have been used to protect the wealthy - then this is a good example. When most laws were created, there was a general spirit that created these laws. Wealthy people like this, take the law out of its context and bend it to their will. This is an example that is played out in every facet of our life. They were complicit plain and simple. when you look at the Georgia teachers that were arrested for cheating on tests ...due to pressure to keep their jobs, they went to prison - oh yeah, they were black people. On this side, we have wealthy white people that won’t go to jail? What kind of justice or equality is this?
Started so strong
I was really enjoying the podcast until episode 5&6. The tone changed and it seemed sappy and annoying. The tip line also was over the top. No one wants to listen to snitch hotline sound bites. The personal stories of the worst case scenarios also dragged the show down into a sappy quick sand. Up to 4 great job. Re-edit please
The most obvious and least interesting subject matter. This podcast attempted to stretch 5 minutes of shock and awe into multiple episodes and I felt bored after episodes one.
This podcast is great. It’s so interesting and really makes you think. Very well done, as well.
When this story came out I think that the majority of us were united—Americans hate cheating. I was intrigued by the research done for the podcast. I also work in graduate school admissions and am very aware of the social and cultural forces at play in this issue. Thank you for illustrating this story—I do hope it brings change to help students and families make wiser decisions on higher education. The status aspect of “where” you go has to change but it drives this current hyper competitive environment. Good job on this podcast.
This was so good ! It’s very frustrating this kind of “education” exists ! Education needs to change . I can only hope this is the beginning of change ! Also, please give tips on anyone you know who has cheated their way into college ! Let’s Stand up for truth!
This podcast has the feel of being pretty late to the corporate greed story party and trying to make up for lost time. Dirty Money, The Big Short, Bad Blood, Smartest Guys in the Room: these were well-done, super deep dive fact-based documentaries / docudramas completed well after the stories were sufficiently finished. This college admissions scandal story is just barely getting started, and yet these guys are already trying to write the post-mortem narrative about it. They even ask for tips from the listener at the end of each episode. It really has the feel of trying to capitalize on our collective fascination with business gone bad without doing the work. The three commercial breaks per episode is also not a good look. It’s a good not great show that appears to be relying on its premise - a good one - instead of more fully developed content to drive its success.
Really great until episode 6
Why on earth am I listening to some defense attorney drone on ad infinitum? Seriously - did the equipment break and you guys just said “screw it we’ll splice the editing room floor garbage into a b-side episode.
Great series otherwise but Jesus.
So far so good on Ep2
Couldn’t get enough of #VarsityBlues when the scandal first broke and this podcast is just right. I like it that Ep 2 gives a bit of the other side of the story as well: the deserving students who were deprived of spots because of this racket. Maybe I fell asleep but it’s not clear to me whether actors are reading transcripts of recorded calls? It doesn’t sound like live conversation.
Woman in episode 4 really seems to be making a lot of stuff up out of whole cloth. Then they let her keep going. Seems weak
As someone working in higher education after previously working in secondary education, I can say that the first season of this podcast should be required listening for any education professional at any level.
Informative, nonpartisan and interesting. Highly recommend. Please the podcasts coming.
It just ends like that?
I enjoyed the content, but feel felt like it just ended in such an abrupt, unresolved way. Just such an odd stopping point for what was a great podcast.
Stop being biased
This podcast started out wonderfully and was very informative until the narrator began expressing his opinions. Keep podcasts factual and stop trying impart your beliefs on your listeners! We should be able to form our own opinions without outside influence!
Looking forward to next topic
The right level of detail to go beyond the headlines. Compelling listen.
Buying your way in is not the only crime!!
As someone who considers myself open minded I am ashamed that I considered this news story just another story of the Uber rich buying their way in. Wow!!! This is about the very real racial divide within our education system. It’s about the theft of opportunities lost to those who earned them and how very broken the institutions of higher education are. Also I am originally from Akron and I know the vast differences between Copley High and other Akron schools. I am interested in starting a go fund me for Kelly to help her pay her unbelievable fine of over 75K. I understand why she did what she did and as a single working mom in school I would have done the same. Good parents want what’s best for their children no matter what they can afford.
The race card really?? Come on man.
Started out good...
Hallmark Girl ❤️
I thought it was just me until I read other reviews. About 3/4 way through Episode 2 “The Bumper Sticker Mentality” the host of the podcast let it turn into a racial issue.
This situation is about privilege...period, not color. More than one race and nationality were involved in the scam.
Could have been finished sooner
It was good, but it definitely could have been finished in like 2 episodes.
Listening to this series ought to be required for every parent, high school student, college admissions officer, hell, anyone remotely associated with college application.
I like the fact that you air all sides to the story. Some people can’t stand the truth of ingrained privilege. But oh well. How about if that Harvard professor who is advocating “getting matched” to a college or university gives up his Ivy League job and get matched to a community college paycheck. We all know how that system would go for non rich folks...
Best of 2019
Aside from the rambling listener letter of Episode 6 - that’s for another conversation - this was easily one of the best podcasts of the year. Taking in a wide range of perspectives - you just can’t miss the point.
Honest and entertaining
I’m a high school counselor and work with kids all the time about applying to colleges. This podcast highlights the atrocious systemic inequities in the American education system. Binged it all in a couple sittings.
5 out of 6 episodes is a good hit rate
First 5 episodes left me wanting another 15 minutes of each. Episode 6 was a miss as it went two standard deviations away from the core story. Listen to first 5 and wait for updates on the main story as they arise.
Too many commercials!
Too many commercials! Too much of a sympathetic tone toward the families who fraudulently cheated on this admission scandal.
Rich Vs Poor
I really hope this helps to lead a reform in the way our kids get to have an education.
Schools are segregated from the beginning, so I am not surprised by any of the information in this podcast.
Who knew I would ever leave a review for a Podcast. But this guy deserves it. I love listening to this. 5 stars. Keep them coming please.
Podcast is interesting and informative especially the reenactments from the affidavit but honestly I found the reporting to be unimpressive, the acting was subpar and personally dislike how slowly the main narrator speaks
Very well done! Found myself looking forward to new episodes! Production/sound/narration and the re-enactments of the conversations in the affidavit were perfect. Looking forward to season 2!
California Admires Ruiz Tizon
These scum should be held underwater until they stop undermining democracy.
Thanks for the excellent reporting.
Trump 2020. The future looks great.
Just Saying 😏
I would like to know the race of everyone that commented they “don’t feel race applies to this story”. Race isn’t the common denominator throughout the cast but needs to be noted as it influences and contributes to this trialing time in our history.
And there you have it
Me: I don’t think it’s possible to dislike these rich jerks any more than I already do
Gangster Capitalism: hold my beer
Honest, brutal and entertaining
Amazing, honest and well reported podcast. Thank you for being brave and taking on this subject on such a well rounded way. The essay from the student who got a full ride to his state school in episode five hit home. And the white privileged aspect in terms of athletics at colleges is something I never thought of. Thank you for putting this content into the world.
Couldn’t stop listening
My only disappointment is that there aren’t more seasons yet!
The story is obviously timely and relevant, and the production was great. Clear but detailed dialogue helps you to understand what you can only hear and kept me hooked. Can’t wait to hear more
Thank you and keep uncovering
Thank you for taking on this topic for a podcast series. People need to hear the details and not just the main stream media coverage. This story should be required listening to anyone with a child as an example of how parenting can cross a line and apply it to everyday decsions we make to 'help' them.
I teach in a privileged community public school, and while my kids/parents aren’t going to these lengths, it really makes me think about privilege w/ tutoring, etc., esp episode 2. It’s a slippery slope. The game really is rigged to a disturbing degree...
It’s not about racism, it’s about cheating! Get over yourself!
Listening to the conversations from the affadavit was interesting but the part where he hassles Singer is just flat out annoying. Of course he doesn’t want to talk to a stranger and podcaster. Should have left that part out.
Education is broken
We owe our children a chance at the American dream. Bankrupting them with insane tuition costs, exclusionary institutions and draconian expectations does not make good, happy people. Higher ed is broken. It’s time to fix it.
I wish their were more podcasts like this. As a big fan of long form journalism, this is exactly the kind of thing for me. This particular series really spoke to me as the daughter of working class parents and the first in my family to attend university. I never quite realized how rigged the game was till that day I ran into the guy I used to sell my class notes to in an office tower. He worked for his “uncle” in some fancy job. I was on yet another job interview and was still waitressing, despite having graduated from a “good” university with a degree in economics with honors. Whereas my former client barely passed most of his classes.
Just can’t help yourself episode 5
Interesting podcast, disgusted by the lengths Buckingham went to for her kid. A woman who’s made a fortune writing books on advice for raising children!? What a joke! The only bummer about this episode is that you just couldn’t help yourself with bashing Trump or his son in law....I’m sure there are hundreds of examples of people with wealth and privilege when it comes to the college admissions process yet you had to pick Kushner to highlight.
Loving this podcast. It’s very eye opening and infuriating.
Love getting the inside scoop
& while I agree with 90% of what the former college football athlete stated on episode 2 regarding the sports programs at colleges existing because of basketball & football - he’s 100% correct. I was a college cheerleader who dated a full ride (not white, if it matters), Div. 1AA football player, he neglects two important points.
1) the majority of America is white. So by default, statistically the majority of the student body will be white at campuses in America
2) when criticizing the white privilege, he failed to acknowledge that the largest donation came from a non-American Chinese family. Not Caucasian Americans
I think these are both important points that were inaccurate but kept in the podcast.
Regardless, he’s correct in stating the football programs primarily fall on the backs of the Black athletes - it’s wrong and pervasive in our school system. THOSE STUDENTS participating in programs that generate revenue for the school at the demise of their bodies should receive monetary compensation in addition to their scholarships.
Episode 2 is a good litmus test to see if you're suffering from white fragility! Looks like most of the negative reviews came from that group of willfully obtuse privileged folks.
Miranda Rose 11
Hearing the tapes of the ultra wealthy planning their deception makes my blood boil. Did it even occur to them that they are throwing their children into an educational environment that the children may not be prepared for? Very informative podcast.
Excellent expose of Operation Varsity Blues
As a person who went to college, worked hard, and made tough financial decisions to do it, this podcast really angers me with its revelations of how in depth the college admission scandal really went. And the blatant sense of entitlement and flat out lying/cheating exhibited by wealthy people more worried about image than setting good examples for their children, or heaven forbid encouraging them to EARN their education, should enrage everyone. The podcast itself is very well done, well researched, and offers interesting insight into the culture of college admissions, and other communities impacted by this scam.
This is an incredibly relevant podcast and really explains a lot about our society, I love it.
Race, greed, and white privilege
Interesting reading the comments about how people are turned off enough about the race angle to stop listening. The truth can be uncomfortable.
But it’s all of these things - race, greed, white privilege. The foundations of American capitalism.
Mostly I like how the feds and IRS started at the top and worked their way down, to openly shame the greedy, self serving, rich individualists that bought into this. The moment one “pledger” realizes he might not be caught and says “next child I pay in cash”, I mean it took my breath away. What disgusting greed. What a pity there are only thirty something that we’re caught.
Amazing podcast scary reality
The way this story is told is very well done and engaging. The story itself is incredibly upsetting on multiple levels. The person who came from a poor background in episode 5 articulates it best.