The New Role of Money in Admissions: Is This the End of the Meritocratic Ideal?

Under a disturbing new proposal, students would be able to buy a guaranteed spot at Oxford and other top English universities.

Affluent students in the U.K. are about to get a big leg up in the college admissions game. Under a new proposal, students will be able to buy a guaranteed spot at some of the top universities—like Oxford—that turn away thousands of candidates every year. It's a money making proposition for the schools since students admitted in this way will pay the same higher tuition rates that foreign students pay, $20,000 to $45,000 per year, depending on the student's course of study. The plan also sounds like a total death knell for the idea of a meritocracy.

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