I’ve worried about social privilege translating into educational advantage for some time. In a post here about a year ago, I speculated that the new industry of “admissions consultants” might not deserve (robust) copyright protection for the works it generates. As higher education stratifies, I thought such a denial of protection might make the information they provided more accessible.
But as I look at the business model of the admissions-gaming industry more closely, perhaps the answer here lies more in promoting IP than restraining it. Consider, for instance, this rundown of options for getting an advantage in law school admissions:
Here’s what you can pay some of the so-called “experts” for law school admission advice:
Kaplan – $1,599 for 10 hours of consulting
Accepted.com – $900 for 5 hours of consulting ($1,040 if you want it quickly).
Admission Consultants – $3,895 for “help” with 10 applications.
Some guy named Arlen Brown – $1,095 for “help” with applications.
[But] [t]he cost [of] the Covert Tactics E-Book is just $37.00, and oh yeah, did I mention that there is no risk to you – we offer a 100%, no-questions-asked money back guarantee.
Now I’m not endorsing Covert Tactics or any of the other services offered here. I’m just re-thinking my position on the relative importance of IP-based answers to equity problems….as I’m sure some of those who attended my presentation on “Copyright and the Commodification of Advantage” will be happy to see.