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To Understand The History Of Elite College Admissions, Just Follow The Money

A federal judge has delayed the hearing for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband until next month in the recent college admissions bribery case. They'll appear in court April 3 on charges that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California.

The scandal has left many unsurprised, though, and has brought greater attention to the fairness of the college application process. The case also begs the question of whether or not those with money and influence have always had an unfair advantage.

Historians Ed Ayers and Brian Balogh, who bring a historical perspective to the case, think so.

“Rich people have gotten their kids into college for, well, pretty much the history of colleges,” Balogh (@historyfellow) tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “That is the baseline.”

Since the beginning of higher education in the U.S. in the 17th century, colleges have been tailored to the rich, say Ayers and Balogh, co-hosts of the podcast "BackStory," produced at Virginia Humanities. Harvard and lots of other schools at the time were established to create an educated clergy, but then expanded into other professions, like law.

Read entire article at WBUR