Private School Helps Black Students Get into #1 Colleges
A scandal-ridden school in Private School in Louisiana is the subject of a new documentary that observes the warped system of college admissions through the eyes of four minority students.
The viral videos all had the same format: a black student sits at a nondescript table, nervously hovering over a laptop, surrounded by a phalanx of mostly black students, phone cameras at the ready to capture the moment. When the students from TM Landry, an unorthodox private high school in rural Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, see the acceptance emails – to Harvard, Dartmouth, Wellesley, and other top-tier universities not usually open to working-class African Americans – they erupt in whoops and hugs.
But as Accepted: The Untold Stories of Minority Students in Elite Colleges reveals, the picture-perfect image of these viral videos belies the dark reality of the admissions process at TM Landry.
The school, founded in 2007 by Tracey and Michael Landry, has been accused of falsifying transcripts, inflating grades and providing misleading recommendation letters. In one case, a student who had failed several classes was listed as having a 4.0 GPA.
The Landrys have denied any wrongdoing, but the Accepted documentary paints a damning picture of a school that was more interested in boosting its college placement stats than in educating its students.
Through interviews with current and former students, parents, educators and admissions experts, the film exposes the lengths some people will go to get into elite colleges. It also shines a light on the students caught in the middle of this system, many of whom are from low-income backgrounds and lack the resources to navigate the often murky world of college admissions.
Accepted is a powerful and eye-opening documentary that offers an intimate look at the students affected by the scandal-ridden school in Louisiana. It will surely spark discussion and debate about the state of college admissions in America today.
Dan Chen, director of Accepted, will be available for interviews upon request.
To learn more about the film, please visit here
The film, which discusses the college admissions scandal from the perspective of the students caught up in it, will be available on digital platforms on October 20.
Dan Chen is a director and producer based in Los Angeles. His previous work includes the award-winning documentary short film The Chelsea Digs, about an artist who lives in a tomblike space beneath Manhattan’s High Line park. He is also the co-founder of the production company Pangaea Pictures, which specialises in documentaries and narrative films with global appeal.
The story he used in the film’s opening was about a girl who had to leave her home and family in China to attend college in America. She eventually became successful and got into Harvard, but at what cost?
Chen’s other work includes The Chelsea Digs, awarded for a best documentary short film. It is about an artist who lives in a space beneath Manhattan’s High Line park. He is also the co-founder of Pangaea Pictures, specialising in documentaries and narrative films with global appeal.
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