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The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard

Jared Kushner and his mother Ivanka Trump during a New York Hilton Midtown in a early hours of Nov. 9, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This story was co-published with The Guardian.

I would like to demonstrate my thankfulness to Jared Kushner for reviving seductiveness in my 2006 book, “The Price of Admission.” we have never met or oral with him, and it’s singular in this life to find such a unselfish benefactor. Of course, we doubt he became Donald Trump’s son-in-law and consigliere merely to boost my lagging sales, yet still, I’m thankful.

My book unprotected a filthy tip of American aloft education: that a abounding buy their under-achieving children’s approach into chosen universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey genuine estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not prolonged before his son Jared was certified to a prestigious Ivy League school. At a time, Harvard supposed about one of each 9 applicants. (Nowadays, it usually takes one out of twenty.)

I also quoted administrators during Jared’s high school, who described him as a reduction than stellar tyro and voiced dismay during Harvard’s decision.

“There was no approach anybody in a executive bureau of a propagandize suspicion he would on a merits get into Harvard,” a former central during The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, told me. “His GPA did not aver it, his SAT scores did not aver it. We suspicion for sure, there was no approach this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a small bit unsatisfactory given there were during a time other kids we suspicion should unequivocally get in on a merits, and they did not.”

Risa Heller, a mouthpiece for Kushner Companies, pronounced in an email Thursday that “the allegation” that Charles Kushner’s present to Harvard was compared to Jared’s acknowledgment “is and always has been false.” His parents, Charles and Seryl Kushner, “are enormously inexhaustible and have donated over 100 million dollars to universities, hospitals and other free causes. Jared Kushner was an glorious tyro in high propagandize and graduated from Harvard with honors.” (About 90 percent of Jared’s 2003 category during Harvard also graduated with honors.)

My Kushner discoveries were an appendage of my investigate for a section on Harvard donors. Somebody had slipped me a request we had prolonged coveted: a membership list of Harvard’s Committee on University Resources. The university wooed some-more than 400 of a biggest givers and many earnest prospects by putting them on this cabinet and mouth-watering them to campus intermittently to be wined, dined, and subjected to lectures by venerable professors.

My thought was to figure out how many children of these corporate titans, oil barons, income managers, lawyers, high-tech consultants and old-money heirs had left to Harvard. A jagged total competence advise that a university eased a standards for a brood of rich backers.

I began operative by a list, poring over “Who’s Who in America” and Harvard category reunion reports for family information. Charles and Seryl Kushner were both on a committee. we had never listened of them, yet their corner participation struck me as a pointer that Harvard’s fundraising appurtenance hold a integrate in generally lustful regard.

The clips showed that Charles Kushner’s sovereignty encompassed 25,000 New Jersey apartments, along with endless office, industrial and sell space and underdeveloped land. Unlike many of his associate cabinet members, though, Kushner was not a Harvard man. He had graduated from New York University. This separated a nauseating yank of a alma mater as a reason for him to give to Harvard, withdrawal another expected explanation: his children.

Sure enough, his sons Jared and Joshua had both enrolled there.

Charles Kushner differed from his peers on a cabinet in another way; he had a rapist record. Five years after Jared entered Harvard, a elder Kushner pleaded guilty in 2004 to taxation violations, bootleg debate donations, and retaliating opposite a witness. (As it happens, a prosecutor in a box was Chris Christie, recently ousted as a conduct of Trump’s transition team.) Charles Kushner had hired a prostitute to charm his brother-in-law, who was auxiliary with sovereign authorities. Kushner afterwards had a videotape of a assignation sent to his sister. He was condemned to dual years in sovereign prison.

I finished my analysis, that fit my hunch. Of a 400-plus tycoons on Harvard’s list — that enclosed people who were childless or too immature to have college-age brood — some-more than half had sent during slightest one child to a university.

I also motionless that a Kushner-Harvard attribute deserved special attention. Although a university mostly heralded large gifts in press releases or a circular called — in a classical instance of fundraising wit, “Re:sources” — a hunt of these outlets came adult empty. Harvard didn’t seem fervent to be publicly compared with Charles Kushner.

While looking into Kushner’s taxes, though, sovereign authorities had subpoenaed annals of his free giving. we schooled that in 1998, when Jared was attending The Frisch School and starting to demeanour during colleges, his father had affianced $2.5 million to Harvard, to be paid in annual installments of $250,000. Charles Kushner also visited Neil Rudenstine, afterwards Harvard president, and discussed appropriation a grant module for low- and middle-income students.

I phoned a Harvard official, with whom we was on accessible terms. First we asked either a present played any purpose in Jared’s admission. “You know we don’t criticism on particular applicants,” he said. When we pulpy further, he hung up. We haven’t oral since.

At Harvard, Jared Kushner majored in government. Now a 35-year-old is staid to turn a energy behind a presidency. What he skeleton to do, and in what instruction he and his father-in-law will lead a country, are distant some-more critical than his high propagandize grades.


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