Pacific University has just been added to the list of U.S. colleges being investigated for taking bribes to admit under qualified students.
According to an FBI press release, at least 50 students were admitted to Pacific with low test scores and GPA’s, but big wallets over the past 10 years.
Singled out was the journalism program where Pacific Index adviser Dave Cassady was accused of taking kickbacks from parents to admit their students to his program.
“I know my parents paid him at least $15 to get me into the school,” said one current student who asked not to be identified. Another student said she was forced to work 60 hours a week producing the Pacific Index without any pay. Other students then reminded him that no one of the staff was paid, only widening the possible list of suspected students.
“There nothing wrong with what we did,” said one parent. “We had to get him into school someplace and Klamath Community College just wouldn’t take him.”
Other students said they used other programs to get admitted.
“I was admitted as a desirable student because the coach told them I was a great field hockey player,” said one student. He later said he did not know Pacific did not actually have a field hockey program when he was admitted. “They said they were going to start one, and that helped them get at least 20 people into the school.”
Other start up programs that were used to admit students to the school were agribusiness, rhetoric and marijuana horticulture. Students in those areas donated startup money to the university for program development.
A university administrator defended the approach. “We give the students what they ask for, and who knows, maybe someday we’ll actually have those programs.”