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How Jews Get Their Kids into College

July 18, 2019 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

Bring a mattress to the admissions office and say, “My son’s on your wait list. So I’m waiting.”

A young stranger in New York was seeking Yeshiva University but the many directions he had received only confused him and he became lost. Luckily, he saw an old zayde approach him with a load of books under his arm. He stopped the professorial man.

"Tell me, sir, how do I get to Yeshiva University?"

The old man thought about the question for a moment or two and then replied, "Study, young man. Constant study!"

For those of you who may not be in the know like I am, Justice officials have laid charges against parents have paid huge sums to get their kids into good colleges. The scheme involves a middleman who allegedly bribed SAT or ACT administrators into raising students’ test scores (by putting in a very smart ringer to take the test or change their wrong “A, B, Cs” to the right letter.) In another brainless strategy, bribes were given to college athletic coaches who allegedly created a fake athletic history of the student, even if the young prospect considers sun tanning an Olympic event.

I ask you, is this stupid (never mind unethical) or what?

First, if a child can’t get past printing his whole name on the SATs, Harvard might notice when he declares “Miming” as a major. Then, second, there’s the “athletic” scam. Forgive any hint of stereotyping, but Shlomo Meeskeiter, who spent 18 years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn happens to be a Defensive Specialist in Water Polo? Right.

While We Jews consider education a mitzvah and getting into good schools important, of course we’ve noticed that the last two AMs (Alpha-Meshuggah) generations have turned “fair” into

So, here are some ways to give your kinder an edge that (probably) won’t get you arrested.

1-Start early with the “right” Pre-school. If you live in a big city, when your kinder turns two, fly into action! Think of it as an “edu-track” that starts in “the best” Pre-School and ends with you in an “I’m a Harvard Mom” T-shirt. To accomplish this, he must pass a toddler IQ test. Prepare! Make flash cards of his babbles. “Mom,” “Daddy,” and “Mine” are good. Make sure he memorizes them! (Pronunciation doesn’t count if he doesn’t talk yet.) Next up? Shapes. When he can draw a “hexagon,” God willing when he’s three, he’ll ace the test. Be sure to warn him against any “creative” babbling. When the tester asked my son to name two animals, he said: “Two hyenas.” We looked for clown schools.

2-Move to A State Where Few Jews Are Applying: For years, colleges have had a quota” system, at first to keep certain groups out, but now to get them in so they shouldn’t, God forbid, be politically incorrectly undiversified. True, “Jewish” is a special group. But if you come from a Jewish mecca such as New York or Los Angeles, being a genius is not so special. So, what’s a Jew to do? Simple. Move. Rent a condo during his senior year and send him to Cottonwood High -- in South Dakota. True, there are the blizzards and the occasional tornado, but how many kids are applying to Columbia named Chaim Cohen from Cottonwood? Trust me. By the time he graduates the chill will wear off.

3- Make Your Kinder an Expert in A Rare Team “Sport” (That Doesn’t Involve Anything Physical): True, there are Jews in Ultimate Slamball, but more have invested in the stadium. However, as “athletics” are an admission “biggie,” find a sport where he won’t, God forbid, damage his future surgeon’s hands. Look for universities that have or should have, for example: Spelling Olympiads, Speed-debating, or Power Kvetching.

4-Donate a Small Wing: Ok, true. This one could seem a bissel bribe-like by some no-goodnik. Wrong! We Jews have long funded educational endeavors. The Mandelbaum Wing for Matzo Study, say, at Notre Dame, is not only necessary but a mitzvah as it’s doubtful Notre Dame has such a department. And should your Shmooie happen to get in, whose business is it?

5-Do an Ancestry Search: Princeton might be impressed if say, you learned that your great-uncle’s cousin was Albert Einstein. Go further back. Any connection to Moses, Rashi, even Hedy Lamar, the actress and inventor of Spread Spectrum Technology might help get your kinder into MIT. In doing a search, for example, we learned that my late husband, a proper convert, was a direct descendant of Pocahontas. We let it slip to the admissions committee. Meanwhile, we figured if our son didn’t get his M.D. and support us in our old age, we could at least open a casino.

6-Call an Emergency Family Meeting: We Jews have many many gifts. Nepotism is one. Network nepotistically! Surely among your aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, never mind their relatives on the other side, not to mention their mates’, someone knows a person on the admissions committee! I suggest you start this process when your kinder is accepted to pre-school!

7-Sit! Yes. Should your kinder, say, be put on a wait list, send mama to the college. Take with you a trunk load of food. Also bring an inflatable mattress. Park yourself noticeably in front of the admissions office. Sit. Don’t move. When they ask what you’re doing there, repeat as follows: “My son’s on your ‘wait’ list. So I’m waiting.” Be polite but firm. Repeat this sweetly using the Basic Sigh. A moan wouldn’t hurt either. Keep it up until the admissions officer caves in admits your child, which, if he or she is gentile should only take 48 hours. If he or she is Jewish, be prepared to spend say, from Purim to Pesach. (They’re used to it.)

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