South Koreans caught Cheating on SATs may lead to more Worthless Liberal Arts Degrees in U.S.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 12th, 2013

Week in Review

U.S. high-tech companies have trouble finding qualified applicants to hire.  So a lot of them turn to the H-1B visa.  To bring in highly skilled foreign workers.  Those with science and engineering degrees.  And good GPAs.  So the H-1B visa is a valuable commodity.  As they only allow so many H-1B visas a year.  The current limit is 65,000.  Making high-tech companies jockey for the limited number of highly-skilled foreign workers allowed into the country.

So despite a high unemployment rate there is a high demand for college graduates with degrees in science and engineering.  Which causes a lot of foreign high school graduates to take the SAT exam in hopes of going to an American university.  So they can get one of those high-paying tech jobs.  And some appear to want that a little more than others (see For the First Time, SAT Test Gets Canceled in an Entire Country by Kayla Webley posted 5/10/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Some 1,500 South Korean students who dream of attending elite American colleges are scrambling after the U.S.-based administrator of the SAT cancelled the scheduled May 4 session of the exam due to allegations of widespread cheating. It’s the first time the SAT test has been called off in an entire country…

Test center managers told the WSJ that the problem is widespread and that official test booklets can be purchased from brokers for about $4,575—a relatively small price to pay for families fighting to gain admittance to Harvard, Stanford and other prestigious American schools no matter the cost…

But South Korea is hardly alone—the high stakes nature of the exam has fueled cheating elsewhere, although on a smaller scale. Of the nearly three million SAT exams taken worldwide each year, at least a few thousand are canceled because of suspected cheating. Several hundred other potential test takers are turned away at the door each year because of questionable identification. In 2011, 20 students in Long Island, New York were charged with cheating on the SAT—five were accused of taking the test for others and 15 were accused of paying them $500 to $3,600 to take the exams.

The College Board and ETS say they expects to be able to offer the SAT in South Korea in June, but in the meantime, and out of fear of additional problems, there have been reports of students flying to Japan and Hong Kong to take the test there in order to get their scores in time to apply for college in the U.S. this summer.

This no doubt greatly disappoints those American high-tech companies.  To have such widespread cheating caught like that.  “Why?” they probably cried, “did these kids have to get caught?”  You see, they want these kids to get into the American universities.  For they will take the hard classes and study.  Not only to get good grades but to become intimate with the material.  Unlike too many American kids entering American Universities (see Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education by Lauren Lyster posted 5/7/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

The U.S. is home to some of the greatest colleges and universities in the world. But with the student debt load at more than $1 trillion and youth unemployment elevated, when assessing the value of a college education, that’s only one part of the story.

Former Secretary of Education William Bennett, author of Is College Worth It, sat down with The Daily Ticker on the sidelines of the Milken Institute’s 2013 Global Conference to talk about whether college is worth it.

“We have about 21 million people in higher education, and about half the people who start four year colleges don’t finish,” Bennett tells The Daily Ticker. “Those who do finish, who graduated in 2011 – half were either unemployed or radically underemployed and in debt…”

The problem, Bennett says, is people going to second-tier schools, majoring in less-marketable liberal arts fields, and taking on debt to do so.

And now you see why high-tech companies are so desperate for those H-1B visas.  Too many American kids go to college to party.  Even choosing their school by where they rank as a party school.  All play and no work leads to, of course, about half of those enrolling in a 4-year program failing to graduate.  And too many of those who do graduate majored in the liberal arts.  Which is of no use to a high-tech company.  Leaving them to rely more on the H-1B visa.  And kids who can cheat better on their SATs.  Because these kids will not only enter and finish a 4-year program.  But they will graduate with a degree in science or engineering.  For no parents in a foreign country are going to spend that kind of money to get their kid into a 4-year college just so they can have a good time and come back home to live in their basement.

In America some are questioning if college is worth it.  While in South Korea they will do just about anything to get into an American University.  Because unlike many of their American counterparts they will make going to college well worth it.  As they land one of those high-paying jobs high-tech companies are so desperate to fill.

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