Man Sues College After It Rejects Son Following $40K Donation

Assuming a $40,000 donation to his alma mater would grease the wheels enough to get his son an easy acceptance letter, the donor is suing because the college left his son hanging.

KTRK Houston reports the man, who is going after Houston’s Strake Jesuit College Prepatory School, thinks his son was rejected because his donation wasn’t high enough. School officials suggested he “give until it hurts,” asking for a $100,000 donation on a piece of paper and telling the man such a donation would gain his son acceptance. The man pledged to give $50,000, and has contributed $40,000 so far.

A Strake Jesuit spokesman tells KTRK: “While it is school policy not to comment on pending litigation, Strake Jesuit has always kept its admissions process separate from donations and contributions.”

Father speaks on lawsuit against Strake Jesuit [KTRK Houston]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ubermex says:

    Pretty sure this was a Boston Legal episode.

    • you-toe-pee-an says:

      um, sorry to tag it on your first, but Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School is a HIGH SCHOOL. not a COLLEGE.

    • Alexk says:

      Nah. The Boston Legal episode (which I coincidentally watched last week) dealt with a woman wanting to revoke a donation pledge because a much larger donor –an oil company– had just fed the college a huge donation which seemed to be aimed at undercutting the very program she was donating to.

      This real-world donation is interesting because, if the facts given are correct, this prep school was asking for a donation amounting to almost TWICE a four-year tuition payment just to get the kid admitted, and was completely honest about doing so. (I checked, and found tuition is about 14K a year right now.)

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    So it is true, donations to institutions, politicians, etc. have absolutely no influence over their decision making.


    • Julia789 says:

      LOL. Yep I know someone whose daughter (a C student) was rejected at an Ivy League school. After a sudden large donation (large enough to have a building named after the family) his daughter mysteriously was accepted, citing a “paperwork mix-up” as the reason for the previous rejection.

  3. galm666 says:


    That’s about all I can say. The kid was clearly not good enough to get in and the dad clearly couldn’t give enough. Plus, that school official is a pretty royal jerk.

  4. Tim says:

    The school said in writing that a donation of x would guarantee acceptance. The father donated less than x. The son was not accepted.

    What’s the problem?

    • c!tizen says:

      “A Strake Jesuit spokesman tells KTRK: “While it is school policy not to comment on pending litigation, Strake Jesuit has always kept its admissions process separate from donations and contributions.””

      Thats the problem.

      • galm666 says:

        Plus, there’s this whole matter of verbal agreements being binding contracts in the state of Texas…

        • Difdi says:

          Not just in Texas, verbal contracts are just as binding as written ones anywhere in the US…they’re just more difficult to prove after the fact. Texas has stronger laws on the matter of verbal contracts than most other states, but a contract is a contract anywhere.

        • Powerlurker says:

          I assume you mean “oral” agreements. Written and spoken agreements are both verbal.

    • Straspey says:

      The problem is that, by law, the word “donation” is a voluntary act and the donation cannot be compelled by any conditions.

      This has been upheld by the courts – so when you are attending a concert at the local church, and the sign says, “Suggest Donation of $10.00” you can still walk in and take a seat without paying anything and they cannot refuse you admission.

      If the sign says, “Admission: $10.00” – then you are required to pay the ten bucks to gain admission.

      Sure- when you give $40.00 to public radio, they give you a mug or tee-shirt; but that’s their way of thanking you. You could also go to their on-line store and BUY the tee-shirt without making the donation.

      The college charges tuition to those students whom it chooses to admit.
      It also accepts donations to help with its funding needs.

      I believe the letter may be illegal and the father may have a strong case.

      • Hoss says:

        I’m not sure that you’re describing a donation correctly. An admission charge can be a donation while the amount to a radio station with a mug needs to be adjusted for the value of the mug

        • mmmsoap says:

          The amount of your donation that’s considered tax deductible gets adjusted by the value of the shirt/mug. But it’s still a donation. Another reason why you always get the tag line “a donation is not required to enter the sweepstakes.”

          • RandomHookup says:

            Actually, the sweepstakes footnote is, I believe, to avoid issues around running paid drawings for prizes. There are a lot of regulations around the paid versions that the stations want to avoid.

      • backinpgh says:

        I’d compare it more to those public television drives. There are gifts you receive if you donate. If you want the Celtic Woman DVD AND the tote bag, you have to donate $250. Period. So if you donate only $150 and you only get the Celtic Woman DVD then you are SOL.

      • Manx says:

        I wonder how that works out for pet rescues, who usually have the condition that you must “Donate X$” in order to adopt this animal. While it’s phrased as a donation, what you’re actually doing is purchasing a new pet rather than donating to a group.

      • Chaosium says:

        “The problem is that, by law, the word “donation” is a voluntary act and the donation cannot be compelled by any conditions.”

        This is a private high school, I wonder if it’s actually tax deductible.

        • NatalieErin says:

          Seriously? Donations to private, not-for-profit educational institutions are nearly always tax deductible. That is sometimes a significant source of their funding.

          • jesusofcool says:

            …which I think is a huge joke. Sure they’re not making a bottom line profit, it’s just going into the pockets of school officials and funding lavish facilities etc.
            Unless it’s to scholarships for promising students, donating 100k to a private high school is so foolish when there are so many brilliant children in our public education system without the means to shine.
            The rich get richer and the poor get poorer I guess.

          • TooManyHobbies says:

            If some service was expected in return for it, the IRS might have something to say about him claiming it as a charitable donation.

  5. Supes says:

    One of those stories where I hate everyone involved. The high school for implying donations will secure admissions, and subsequently taking the money without granting admission. The dad for trying to buy his son’s way into a school. And the kid for not being smart enough to get into a high school the legitimate way.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Just what I was thinking, everyone involved here kind of sucks.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Actually the kid may be blameless.

      Perhaps he’s lazy and didn’t work hard enough in school in which case he is also to blame.

      But perhaps he’s just truly not smart enough. If he doesn’t have the capacity to do better than he did no matter how much effort he puts in, then it’s absolutely no fault of his own, and he shouldn’t be blamed in any way.

      • c!tizen says:

        Or maybe the kids just a late bloomer. He could be the next Einstein (also a late bloomer) for all we know.

        • indeeme says:

          Or maybe he’s already a genius, but all that matters is the size of the donation. The kid’s academic abilities aren’t addressed in the article at all.

          • c!tizen says:


          • dadelus says:

            The first article I read about this incident stated the son failed the entrance exam even when allowed to take it twice. So either the son is not currently a genius or perhaps he is but did poorly on purpose.

        • Chaosium says:

          “He could be the next Einstein “

          Einstein wasn’t a late bloomer, he made excellent marks. That he was a poor student is a sad urban legend.

      • Supes says:

        I was actually being facetious blaming the kid. A kid being lazy/dumb doesn’t make me hate them, hard to blame a 14(?) year-old for not getting certain middle school grades to get into a prep school.

        Clearly it was the dad and the school that acted in the wrong here. I wish we could take the $40K away from the school and give it to charity or something.

        • EarlNowak says:

          Uh, remember, almost all schools ARE charities. In that they’re qualified not-for-profit institutions.

          That’s why in the 19th century, rich people endowed colleges to avoid estate taxation. Think Stanford, Carnegie-Mellon, Tulane.

      • katarzyna says:

        Or maybe the kid doesn’t want to go to Strake Jesuit. I wouldn’t.

  6. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    I hate to be a nitpicker here, but there’s a difference between a college and a college preparatory school.

  7. Suisei says:

    Does this man have any real chance of winning this case? To me, someone shouldn’t expect anything back for donating something, else it wouldn’t be called a donation, but a type of barter. Well, maybe he should get one of those tax deduction-thingies….

    • DovS says:

      It’s not illegal to receive something in return for a donation, just unusual. If the school promised him acceptance in return for the donation and they failed to uphold their end of that agreement, it could be considered fraud or breach of contract. The only legal problem I can see for the father would be if he claimed it as a donation on his taxes and that would only work against him if they HAD accepted his son.

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        I have no idea of the legalities of this kind of thing, but if what you’re saying is true, where does one draw the line between donation and bribery? Seems to me a donation is just that — no strings attached. But donating a sum of money in exchange for something that is difficult (or maybe impossible) to acquire, sounds like bribery to me.

        I can’t imagine this man will win the suit, but if there’s evidence that confirms the agreement, I’m pretty sure that school is in big trouble.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Don’t most college sports foundations require donations for best seats (at least at big time football/basketball programs)? I believe a donation gives you the right to buy season tickets.

        • danmac says:

          Yes, there are tiered packages depending on the amount of the donation. I once donated money to my alma mater’s athletics program and immediately received mail requesting more money. Included with the letter was a chart that contained the escalating benefits should one choose to donate more money.

          • RarianRakista says:

            We are considering making Football and Basketball donation only at the Uni I work at next year, should be interesting to see if the Alma Mater picks up the tab or we can demolish the stadiums for more student housing.

          • NatalieErin says:

            Similarly, I’ve worked a few annual gala events that provided increasingly more perks depending on how much one paid for their ticket. Donate $10K and you could go to a private reception with the keynote speaker.

    • kujospam says:

      Lots of people expect a tax deduction when donating, should that be taken away?

  8. * says:

    Poor guy didn’t assume anything. They straight up told him. It sounds like he just didn’t meet their price…

    Above the fold:

    “Assuming a $40,000 donation to his alma mater would grease the wheels enough to get his son an easy acceptance letter, the donor is suing…”

    Below the fold:

    “School officials suggested he “give until it hurts,” asking for a $100,000 donation on a piece of paper and telling the man such a donation would gain his son acceptance. “

    • c!tizen says:

      I hope the guy wins his case and the judge makes the school “give until it hurts”. What a stupid motto. What’s next?

      Clorox: Scrub until your fingers break
      Patron: Drink until you vomit
      Charmin: Wipe until you bleed

    • SonarTech52 says:

      Actually he did assume. The letter said $100k would be enough, he assumed $40k would be enough…

      When you assume, you make an ASS of U and ME.. heard that often in the military :P

      • * says:

        Truth. Whoops.

      • Laughing-man says:

        “School officials suggested he “give until it hurts.””

        I dunno what’s the legal definition of “hurting”, but 40k is enough to buy a luxury car or down payment for a decent home. Even on a doctor’s salary, that’s still a lot of money.

        Yet another religion-related fraud.

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          $40k is about 10% of a decent home. Good luck getting a mortgage without 25% down these days.

          Oh sure, that’s a lot for a house when you compare it to someplace like, say, Detroit, but a decent house anywhere I would want to live averages $400k.

    • George4478 says:

      He did assume — you even quoted his assumption: “Assuming a $40,000 donation to his alma mater would grease the wheels enough to get his son an easy acceptance letter, the donor is suing…”

      If the man’s version of events is accurate (and that’s a big issue since this went all legal system and everything): School says $100,000, he gave $40,000. So, I’m not seeing the basis for his lawsuit. He didn’t meet the school’s requirements but still assumed that it was close enough.

    • varro says:

      “He spelled ‘Strake’ with a ‘6’.”

  9. u1itn0w2day says:

    Thought I would see this story in reguards to an athlete/prospect.

  10. FireJayPa says:

    It’s not like it’s college – it’s just some Prep School (Grades 9-12) that preach the values of Jesus and some other nonsense.

    Let him go to a public school and learn to deal with the unwashed masses. Going to some fancy prepschool will only make him be more like his father – a jerk who thinks money can buy everything.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Based on where he lives, the local public high school is far from being the “unwashed masses.” It probably has more than its share of students from the surrounding high-dollar neighborhoods. Daddy wants Junior to go to Strake because HE went there. He’s the male equivalent of a “stage mother,” that’s all.

    • davere says:

      I went to a prep school and I didn’t hear the word Jesus once nor was I ever exposed to any sort of religion or other fairy tales.

  11. Mecharine says:

    This is why public universities are better. No need to “donate” IE bribery.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      1. This wasn’t a university. It’s a prep school. Blame Phil, though.

      2. I know plenty of people who got into great private universities without donating a dime. Like me.

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    As crappy as this practice is, only an idiot would think donations and admissions are separate. Donators are clearly not going to do so without getting something back, specifically admission for their (grand)children. So there is obviously going to be a discussion during the donation process of, “will my child be admitted?”

    I hope he wins.

    • * says:

      True. I went to private school, and it wasn’t just admissions; expulsion was more realistically “suspension pending donation.”

      It was pretty great having wings and rooms across the school named after all the miscreants.

    • Gramin says:

      I’m sorry… this is bothering me… it’s not donators… it’s donors. Just an FYI.

      • Laughing-man says:


        donor n.
        a giver of a gift or of a part of the body used to replace a diseased part of someone else’s body

        dona·tor n.
        One who presents a gift to a fund or cause; contribute.

    • Difdi says:

      He wanted to know how much to donate to get his kid in, and was told $100,000. He decided to pay 40% of the quoted “price” and it proved to be insufficient.

      By your “logic” if I were to go into a store, take a $100 item to the checkout lane, pay $40 and try to walk out, I could sue the store for stopping me from taking the $100 item home. Fail.

      • danmac says:

        I like your analogy because it actually supports the lawsuit. See, if you went into a store and tried to pay $40 for a $100 item, then they said no, that would not entitle them to keep the $40 you initially paid them. You would say, “Well, if you’re not going to give me the item I tried to buy, give me my $40 back,” and they would do so. If they didn’t, you could sue them to get your $40 back. That’s what this man is doing.

  13. snowtires says:

    So a rich, religious prick can’t buy his underachieving son into a school for young rich, religious pricks? This pleases me.

    • c!tizen says:

      What makes him a prick? Just curious, cause as far as I can tell he wants his son to have the same education that afforded him his successful medical practice. He’s not asking for anything more than his money back.

      • eccsame says:

        Thinking that money can buy anything and then complaining (and suing) when it doesn’t. That makes him a prick.

        • c!tizen says:

          Money can’t buy everything, but it certainly can buy an education. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to pay for an education. He’s not trying to buy anything outrageous, he’s trying to get his son into what he believes is a good school in which he also attended. Moreover, the issue is that he didn’t pay what the school deemed “enough” of a “donation”, which means he was trying not to get ripped off, which is what this site is all about. Even with a $40,000.00 donation he’s still going to have pay tuition.

          “How much money do I have to you so that my son gets into your college?” Asked by every parent of a child going to any private school or university.

          “How much money do I have to give you so that I get into heaven?” Where did this come from? If anyone is playing the part of the evangelist it’s the school telling him that his meager donation of most people’s annual salary won’t be enough.

          • c!tizen says:

            sorry, combined my replies there.

          • human_shield says:

            Education costs money, but you don’t buy a degree, you earn it. This kid doesn’t qualify to go to this school. Should his dad also be able to buy him a degree if he fails all his classes?

          • LanMan04 says:

            Money can’t buy everything, but it certainly can buy an education. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to pay for an education.
            They don’t accept pictures of spiders anymore?

      • segfault, registered cat offender says:

        “How much money do I have to you so that my son gets into your college?”
        “How much money do I have to give you so that I get into heaven?”

        • The Lone Gunman says:

          “How much money do I have to give you so that I get into heaven?”

          Hmmmmm. Right religious group—did they ever stop selling Indulgences?

      • snowtires says:

        He tried to buy his son into a private college prep school by lowballing the asking price by 50%, and even then he didn’t pay the full amount. And then to top it all off, he went to a local TV station to bitch about it. He is a prick.

        • c!tizen says:

          Here, let me help you…

          Definition of DONATION: the act or an instance of donating: as
          a : the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution
          b : a free contribution : gift

          The tuition is the “asking price”, not the donation. And if you read the story he was making the donation in installments over a number of years which he was paying until he found out that his son was rejected admission.

          And “buying” your way into a private school is usually the only way to get your child into one. The “private” means it’s not publicly funded which means it gets its money from the parents of the students.

          He went to a local TV station because the school basically ripped him off. It’s a very effective tool for getting a business to play ball. He just wants his money back, you would too. It’s not a $20.00 DVD, it’s a $40,000 loss.

          • theycallmeGinger says:

            Oh, now that you’ve explained it, you’re right! This guy isn’t a prick, he’s just trying to get along in this harsh world! By trying to pay people off for his child’s incompetency.

            “buying” your way into a private school is usually the only way to get your child into one”

            Wow, seriously? In case you didn’t know, only a small percentage of private school children get there because of back-door donations. If everyone had to donate tens of thousands to get accepted (plus tuition), every kid would have their own building as a dorm room. Just because nepotism, etc., happens at those places (and I’m not denying it does), doesn’t mean everyone is part of it. Ultimately, a school’s reputation relies on it’s graduates’ success, not the size of the cafeteria.

            • c!tizen says:

              I’m not talking about back door donations, I’m talking about tuition. I thought I explained that when I said “The “private” means it’s not publicly funded which means it gets its money from the parents of the students.”, but there it is again for your reading pleasure. Making your point by taking a quote out of context is the cheapest way of commenting, here let me show you…

              “Oh, now that you’ve explained it, you’re right!”

              Thanks! You’re pretty super too.

              • danmac says:

                “I’m…talking about back door…for your…pleasure. …here let me show you…”

                Eww…you’re just gross.

              • theycallmeGinger says:

                I guess I misread your statement as correlating “buying” acceptance (aka tuition) with “buying” acceptance (aka donation in exchange for accepting underachievers). Here you were just giving a dictionary definition of what a private school is and I took it out of context.

                • c!tizen says:

                  “I guess I misread your statement”

                  Misunderstandings happen all the time, don’t beat yourself up over it. I forgive you.

                  “Here you were just giving a dictionary definition of what a private school is and I took it out of context.”

                  I appreciate you being an adult about this, admitting your mistake and showing the rest of the thread how to handle yourself like a true adult. In exchange I’ll show the rest of the thread how fun misusing quotes can be!

                  • theycallmeGinger says:

                    And I appreciate your benevolence. Without you here to educate me, I would never have known how to “interpret” your comment. Thanks for helping me out.

          • The Porkchop Express says:

            they said $100K he said $50K. Asking price=$100K, he lowballed.

            • c!tizen says:

              how to do lowball on a “donation”? If the kids going to require special tutoring to catch him up or make up for some learning difficult fine, call it a tutoring fee and charge him the extra money, but don’t call it a donation if there are terms attached to it.

          • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

            Really? You can only buy your way into a private school?

            Funny, because I was accepted to private universities with no more than the fee to apply. By that logic, I bought my way into public universities as well.

            • c!tizen says:

              “And “buying” your way into a private school is usually the only way to get your child into one.”

              the “usually” implies a lack of absolute certainty.

            • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

              FML, I misread your comment. You said usually, not always. I still deny that it’s usually the only way, though.

              • c!tizen says:

                No worries, I speed read at times as well. I’ve never attended, nor applied to a private school, but I’ve had many friends that have and their parents usually had to pay some serious cash for tuition costs, with exception of one who was accepted through an art scholarship, but was still responsible for something like 20% of the tuition.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Stupid religious people, wanting their children to have options and success. How dare they leverage their finances! They should instead let their kids lead a hard knock life. That’ll teach children the value of something!

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Yeah. The value of actually working hard and getting in on your own merits to a decent place. And that any place you have to bribe your way into is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

        That trained your daddy improperly. Otherwise he would have ponied up the full $100k.

        Yup… all kinds of value added learnings in this story.

        • The Lone Gunman says:

          “And that any place you have to bribe your way into is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

          WOW! You went to Mos Eisley Prep TOO???!

          • Red Cat Linux says:

            I did. Until the year one of the instructors got his arm lopped off at the local cantina…

  14. FreeShaggy says:

    Charlie! Hoo ha!

  15. eturowski says:

    Fix the headline, please – the dad is suing his alma mater *high school* (Strake Jesuit Prep), not a college.

  16. FilthyHarry says:

    Even if he can prove he was guaranteed admission, its an illegal deal so I don’t see how he can win in court.

    “Your Honor! My bribe wasn’t effective, I demand (or am willing to pay a reasonable fee for) justice!”

    • EarlNowak says:

      how is it an illegal deal? schools aren’t required by law to have open admissions policies. if it was a public school it *might* be bribery, but in most states public school admissions officers have a lot of leeway when it comes to admitting donors (even public schools need donations)

      • FilthyHarry says:

        I think it would be illegal because it was a donation. As a opposed to a fee for services. For tax reasons donations are governed by different rules.

        • Karnivore says:

          I do not think it’s illegal. For example, NPR runs pledge drives evey six months and donations of certain amounts are rewarded with merchandise, tickets,etc..

          • axhandler1 says:

            If you make a contribution to an organization and receive something in return, you may still be able to get a deduction on your taxes. However, your deduction is limited to the excess of what you gave over the value of what you received. For example, if you gave $100 to a charity dinner and the dinner was worth $30, you can deduct $70. If you make a contribution of more than $75 and receive goods or services, the charity must give you a written statement that tells you the value of those goods or services. So really, for tax reasons, the school has to distinguish between a donation and him giving them money to let his kid attend school there.

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        If it’s not illegal, why did the spokesperson for the school ensure that “Strake Jesuit has always kept its admissions process separate from donations and contributions.”? If they had no problems with this and it’s commonplace, then why would they bother dispelling the notion? Clearly, there is some wrongdoing, and if it’s not technically “illegal” I’m going to assume it goes against some written policy. And therefore, they’re scrambling to cover their asses.

  17. AstroPig7 says:

    At what point do we just redefine donation as bribe?

  18. SomeoneGNU says:

    The number was 100k, he pledged 50k. Not saying it’s right that you can pay to get your child accepted, but if the number was 100k, the number is 100k.

    • jnads says:


      You don’t go to the mafia for a hitman and then insist afterward the price be halved. 100k is 100k.

      Otherwise they might give you a complementary 2 for 1 special.

    • Difdi says:

      Exactly. If you only pay 40% of the price of something in a store, you’re facing a shoplifting charge if you try to leave with the item, because you haven’t purchased it yet. Why should a borderline-bribe to get his son admitted be any different? They quoted him a price, he paid less than that, simple as that.

  19. Haplo9000 says:

    Let’s just call it what it is: A $100,000 donation to guarantee acceptance of a student is not a donation. That is called TUITION at that point.

  20. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    Everyone is making an assumption here about the “asking for $100,000 on a piece of paper” part.

    The fine article and the above summary say it was on a piece of paper. Well, was that piece of paper a piece of official school letterhead signed by someone in authority, or was is scrawled by hand on a piece of ripped out notebook paper by an overzealous fundraiser with no authority?

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      If it’s done the traditional way, it was likely a strip or blank piece of paper — not letterhead or anything official. (The old “slide the paper across the table” routine) Because big-money “donations for exchange” (aka high-society bribe) are done shadily, no paper trail. For this very reason!

  21. nbs2 says:

    Strake Jesuit College Prepatory School is not a college. It’s a college prep school (ie it is a private school that serves primarily as a feeder to the named college).

    Not only is the first sentence of the article a hint thereof, but the first hit on Google yields the following preview:”Houston, TX Educating young men grades 9-12 in Christian values and in the Jesuit tradition.”

    • nbs2 says:

      Also, please not that the comment system only displayed the first comment, even though I loaded the page at about 10:27. I am not so stupid as to have missed the other folks pointing out the same.

  22. Jasen says:

    Oh noes! How is little Johnny going to learn all about Jesus riding dinosaurs now?

    • Aesteval says:

      The internets FTW!

    • Daverson says:

      Don’t be an ignoramus. “Jesuit” refers to the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus, not the fundamentalists who teach creationism. Members of the order have been scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and educators.

      • backinpgh says:

        Take off your serious cap, dude.

      • Jasen says:

        Ah, Mr. Guy-that-dissects-jokes-to-tell-us-how-they’re-wrong, I see we meet again.
        Internets are serious business, I’m glad you’re on the case.

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          Jokes, especially jokes that involve ethnicity/religion/sex are only funny if they make sense. Like most jokes. Your joke doesn’t really make sense, since Jesus riding dinosaurs isn’t a belief of the Jesuits.

          Let’s say I make a joke about Buddhists and their silly Shiva. It wouldn’t be funny, because Buddhists don’t believe in the deity Shiva.

          Similarly, making a Jesus and dinosaurs joke about Jesuits isn’t funny because there is no central belief amongst the Jesuits relating to your joke.

          • dwtomek says:

            Wow you are just getting emotionally abused here. First people had the audacity to question private school admissions…and THEN someone had the nerve to poke some fun at creationists. This is probably a traumatic day for you I imagine. However, I have to add wood to the fire and suggest that statements about religion that are intentionally ignorant can be quite humorous. I don’t see how it’d be possible to envision dino-cowboy Jesus and not chuckle. I really don’t.

          • Doncosmic says:

            So jokes about overpopulation and AIDS in 3rd world countries and/or pedophile jokes are ok then?

    • VATERGrrl says:

      Ha! Thanks for the giggle, I really needed one and I agree w/ your sense of sarcasm. *adore*

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        Yeah, it’s hilarious to be bigoted against a group you apparently know nothing about! Silly people who sound vaguely like another group I don’t like! Let’s make fun of them!


        It’d be even funnier if we were making fun of a Jewish school! Then we could make jokes about learning to be cheap! HOW HILARIOUS.

        • danmac says:

          At least in that case, paying only 40% of the required donation would make sense. Oy vey!

        • Jasen says:

          Are you feeling oppressed?

          • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

            Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

        • Chaosium says:

          “It’d be even funnier if we were making fun of a Jewish school! Then we could make jokes about learning to be cheap! HOW HILARIOUS.”

          Jews as miserly is a horrible stereotype, and unrelated to religion. Many Christians are Creationists as a part of doctrine. Keep your weird insecurities to yourself, because you have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    • varro says:

      As a (former) Catholic, I resent the implication that the Church is a creationist organization. Why, in 1996, the Pope actually approved evolution!

      Pope John Paul II also apologized to Galileo for the Church’s persecution of him – in 1992.

  23. ttw1 says:

    asking for a $100,000 donation on a piece of paper and telling the man such a donation would gain his son acceptance.

    It reads to me as the request for money was in writing, but the guaranteed acceptance was oral.

    Case dismissed.

  24. danic512 says:

    Why are people commenting on the kid’s intelligence or scholastic ability? It’s entirely possible that the child is a perfectly acceptable candidate who’s admission is being held back until further donations roll in.

    Most of all, the kid wasn’t involved in this transaction, why are so many quick to judge?

    • failurate says:

      Because having to make a “donation” to get acceptance implies that the student was not otherwise qualified.

      Maybe all the students’ families get shook down and that is the only requirement for entry.

      • danic512 says:

        It could be just as simple as the school recognizing richer folks and want to squeeze more money out them.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        Maybe the school realized that this particular guy might be good for more money and decided to play hardball.

  25. meg99 says:

    Isn’t this a high school? The title is wrong.

  26. Hoss says:

    Get your money back and send him to Boston College!

  27. scouts honor says:

    This is great. Strake is full of overprivileged, entitled jerks, in the student body and the administration. Always has been. But as much as I loathe to defend the dolt who tried to buy his kid’s way into high school, it is commonly understood in Houston that a Strake education can be bought. On the other hand, though, Dr. Jerk should have invested that money in tutors for his son instead of trying a hamfisted bribe. Either way, everyone in this mess is making fools of themselves. Pass the popcorn.

  28. El_Fez says:

    I dont see the problem here. The school asked for a bribe, but Mr Tightwad only gave up half the bribe. When the mexican cop asks for 100 bucks not to throw you in jail, you dont offer up $40 and say “But you told me you wouldnt put me in the hoosegow!”

    Lesson learned. Move on and stop whining.

  29. 3rdUserName says:

    This is a local private high school in the Houston area and let me tell you parents love to brag when their kids are going their..

    The owner of the company I work for has his son going there, but before that he was going to Second Baptist for middle school.. T

    hese places are notorious for accepting bribes to get your kid in the door, however I had no idea it was 100K..

    When I was an RA at a public university here in Texas I had a few residents that attended Strake, all three of them failed out of school and moved back to Houston.. I think it had more to do with them being HUGELY spoiled brats who were unmotivated in school than the education they received at Strake..

  30. mbd says:

    I’m confused as to what is the Consumerist interest here? If the details are accurate, the school told him that for $100K he could buy his son automatic acceptance. He gave $40K, which is nice, but from the story nobody promised him automatic acceptance at that level.

    Buying your way into college is not new, it is a time honored tradition at many colleges. The only thing unusual is that the college put in writing what the magic number for automatic acceptance would be.

    • Chaosium says:

      Yeah, this is really a story about a dad who tried to not hold up the deal on his end and hope that the school caved in, then trying to embarrass the school when they refused to take the lesser amount.

  31. Kibit says:

    STrake Jesuit isn’t a college, it’s a high school.

    Houston’s Strake Jesuit College Prep School is a private high school. It is all male and Roman Catholic affiliated, serving 891 students in grades 9-12.

  32. stevied says:


    You make the donation AFTER the stupid spawn of your loins is accepted.

  33. thrashanddestroy says:

    Pretty sure you can’t sue over what’s basically a glorified bribe being rejected. Its not as if it was a legal contract or a business exchange. A donation is just that, a donation, and SHOULDN’T influence any decision.

  34. slappysquirrel says:

    I tend to blame the school for trying to solicit donations from an applicant’s Dad. The Dad’s response “I can donate, but if I do, I want to be sure my kid will be attending so the donation will benefit him” doesn’t strike me as especially unreasonable.

    • danmac says:

      I completely agree…he donated the money specifically with the understanding that his son would be attending the school. Quid pro quo.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I tend to blame the school for trying to solicit donations from an applicant’s Dad”

      I don’t entirely. With for-profit schools much of this is par for the course, and perfectly legal.

  35. wellfleet says:

    If school officials asked for 100K and he gave them 50K, he didn’t meet their price tag, ergo, he’s SOL. I would insert the Goodfellas bit about F*** you, pay me if I could.

    That said, four hours later and STILL not fix for the completely erroneous/misleading/poorly researched headline? Seriously?! How difficult is it to Google this and find out it’s a freakin’ high school?

  36. RedOryx says:

    The dad wasn’t told to “give until it hurts.” That’s the school’s motto. Nice try, though.

  37. PDQ says:

    First of all, the school is a college preparatory high school – not a college. So the title and the article as written are incorrect.

    The father is a vascular surgeon who attended the same high school when he was young. I have to wonder if a patient came to see him and the good doctor tells them a procedure will be $100,000 – if the patient pays him $40,000 would he do the surgery anyway?

    I doubt it.

    Send the kid to a trade school. He’s apparently not college material.

  38. shufflemoomin says:

    Pretty sure that’s not how it works. A donation entitles you to nothing but good will unless stated otherwise. You can’t donate to PBS and then dictate what happens on Seaseme Street that week.

  39. shufflemoomin says:

    Yeah, go ahead and sue. Waste more money you could be using to make sure he actually gets a good education.

  40. Nighthawke says:

    That’s someone that is going to get their knuckles swatted by a ruler.

  41. jimstoic says:

    This makes me think of the storyline in A Serious Man where someone is both bribing a professor and denying he is bribing a professor.

  42. NickelMD says:

    A tear just fell from my eye.

    Because I am laughing so hard.

  43. sj_user1 says:

    $40,000 would have paid for a lot of tutoring and SAT prep. This will be the most valuable lesson this kid ever learns: that you can’t buy your way out of hard work.

  44. morehalcyondays says:

    Strake Jesuit is a high school.

  45. YokoOhNo says:

    I guess everyone in Washington just collectively shat themselves!!! “You mean, if i take the money then i have to do what i told the corporation I would do for the bribe they gave me!??! On second thought, it’s worth the $100,000 i received to sell out my country!”

  46. jeffile says:

    If one hundred thousand guarantees acceptance then how much would guarantee graduation?

  47. kataisa says:

    Gotta love the religious bigotry in these comments from people who are usually the first to demand that society be more “tolerant” of other religions.

    As for the failed prep school bribery, I’m happy. We’ve got more than enough spoiled, entitled, self-important jerks in this world.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Gotta love the religious bigotry in these comments from people who are usually the first to demand that society be more “tolerant” of other religions.”

      Nobody’s demanding that the most popular religion in America be banned, thin-skin. We’re demanding that the Constitution be upheld against those who would harm it.

  48. Baron Von Crogs says:

    1) This school is real sketchy and that letter requesting a $100K donation for his sons acceptance is a total joke and shows that even private education can fail epiclly.

    2) He didn’t donate the requested amount, so his son wasnt accepted. The father is foolish for trying to buy his son into school and even more foolish for thinking $40K = $100K.

  49. reykjavik says:

    i think its funny that this small school has been sued enough to actually have a policy about pending litigation….

  50. livingthedreamrtw says:

    I donated a good $75k to my university over 4 years. They are not going to get a penny from me, and any subsequent attempts on their part to ask for donations will be met with submissions of negative amounts, with blank checks made out to me.