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Opinion
Elaine Ou

Forget Bribery. The Real Scam Is Pretending That Degrees Have Value.

There’s a reason that powerful parents scrambled to get their kids into the Ivy League rather than a rigorous, practical school like Caltech or MIT.

Quick, name a famous Caltech alum! Fictional characters don’t count.

Quick, name a famous Caltech alum! Fictional characters don’t count.

Photographer: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As any remaining illusion of a college meritocracy swirls down the drain, there remains one school where students are still admitted based on unadulterated academic aptitude: Caltech.

No bonus points for legacy applicants, nor for star athletes. Even if an underqualified student does happen to slip in, they don’t have an easy way out. The California Institute of Technology does not engage in grade inflation, and the four-year graduation rate stands at 79 percent, well below that of its elite peers.