Apparently Wal-Mart Heiress Paige Laurie is no longer a graduate of the University of Southern California.
Laurie, the granddaughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton, has returned her degree, nearly a year after Elena Martinez told ABC’s “20/20” that she had written term papers and done assignments for Laurie for 3½ years.
“Paige Laurie voluntarily has surrendered her degree and returned her diploma to the university. She is not a graduate of USC,” the school said in a statement
Now here is the kicker:
At the time of the “20/20” broadcast, Martinez said she dropped out of USC because she couldn’t afford the tuition. She said she learned a great deal by doing Laurie’s class work.
So the student who was smart enough to do the work (obviously, since Laurie was granted a diploma) won't get one, because she couldn't afford the tuition (although I would think the $20,000 should have helped, but apparently it wasn't enough) but the spoiled brat (get a hint-- elsewhere in the article it says that her parents put her name on a stadium and his father named his business Paige Sports Entertainment company) came very close to outright buying a diploma from one of the nation's premier universities.
With tuition jumping upward at a double digit clip at even public universities (together with enrollment caps in the face of budget cuts from legislatures and Congress) and the cuts in student loan programs pushed by the Bush administration, going to a university is on its way to becoming the exclusive purview of the superwealthy (along with a handful of great athletes who earn athletic scholarships).
But the good news is that poor people who are smarter than they are can still get the education by doing their homework, if they are dishonest enough.