Taft Admissions Scandal by Eleanor Streit

With the recent college admissions scandals popping up in the news, many students, families, and faculty are taking closer looks at their own educational institutions in order to rule out any bribery at their schools.  Taft recently hosted its annual Admitted Student Days, where students travelled from across the country and the world to experience life on campus. While there were many talented, bright students on campus, we at the Papyrus wondered if all of them were the stars they claimed to be.  The Papyrus reached out to the Admissions Office for a statement on the Taft application and decision process, but they refused to respond. In order to get a closer look at the Taft admissions process, we talked to a few admitted students about their grades, interests, and extracurriculars.  If the admissions officers weren’t going to give us the answers we demanded, we were going to find another way.

First we talked to Audrey Mae, 13, from Logansport, Indiana.  At first glance, Audrey Mae seems like an average eighth grader.  She loves Billie Eilish, Instagram slime videos, and horses. We wondered what set Audrey Mae apart; what was her catch?  We decided to ask her point-blank, “Why do you think you were admitted to Taft?” Her answer shocked us. Smiling nervously, she told us about how excited she was to be a part of the Taft fencing team.  If you’re wondering how you made it through the Winter Sports Banquet without noticing an entire team, don’t worry. There is no Taft fencing team. When we began pressing her for details about her career as a fencer, her father swooped in and said that Audrey Mae has been fencing for many years and is excited to help Taft build their program.  He then escorted her to a plate of rhino cookies while whispering furiously. Her dad, by the way, is none other than Oscar nominated actor Greg Kinnear.

Next, we spoke to a young woman named Jaya, 14, from Los Angeles, California.  She considers herself a social activist, supporting causes such as the #MeToo movement and Everytown for Gun Safety.  We know Jaya has the passion to be a Taft student, but does she have the smarts? When we asked her about her Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) scores, Jaya boasted a 2110, a very impressive score.  We decided to ask Jaya some SSAT style questions in order to gage her true intellect. Just as we were about to ask the first question, Jaya’s mother began to ask what this quiz was for and why her daughter was the only one being questioned.  We assured her multiple times we were simply journalists digging for the truth, but Jaya was still forbidden from answering any further questions. Jaya’s mother is Laura Dern. That’s right, the lady from Jurassic Park.

Finally, we talked to Eric from New York City, New York.  Eric is coming to Taft next year as a Post-Grad and refused to reveal his age.  He looked quite old, but Eric assured us he was under 20, the age cap for many NEPSAC Division I sports.  Eric told us he likes hard work, good grades, and clean living. He told us he wasn’t entirely sure what he was doing here, but that he’s excited to go back to school.  This implies that Eric has taken a gap year in between his first senior year and his PG year here. Interesting choice. When we asked to speak with his parents, Eric told us that he was actually brought here by his older brother because his dad is “like super busy.”  We chatted with his brother, Donald, for a little bit. He told us about how he’s running his dad’s business while his father pursues his dream career. When asked about why Eric is interested in Taft, Donald told us he’s “just happy the kid has something to keep him busy while the real men do the work.”