Steve Sailer in 2010:
Here's some fun gossip I heard from a fellow about the Harvard Number. He's a reasonably well connected gentleman. On the other hand, he's my only source for this and I don't have the connections to check up on this, so take it for whatever it's worth.
The Harvard Number is the amount of money Harvard would want as a donation for accepting your kid as an undergraduate. It's not the kind of information they post on their website. You have to ask the right people in the right manner.
He said he just found out that the current Harvard Number—assuming your kid's application was "competitive" (i.e., there's some chance your kid would get in even if you didn't write a check)—is $5 million.
If your kid's "not competitive," then it is $10 million.
If there are about 1,800 freshmen at Harvard each year, then Harvard could admit, say, 100 competitive applicants whose fathers (typically, hedge fund guys) write the Harvard Number on a check—without tangibly lowering the quality of the class. That's, theoretically, a half billion per year in virtually free money. How could an institution resist that temptation?
Quid pro quo arrangements aren't supposed to be tax deductible as charity, but how often does the IRS get the goods on this? In practice, a big chunk of the Harvard Number gets refunded by the taxpayers.
Steve Has written more about the Harvard Number here, and Ann Coulter pointed out that Jared Kushner’s Harvard career came about in this way.
In Jared Kushner, Birdbrain Of Alcatraz, Ann Coulter said that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was pushing "sentencing reform" because he wanted something on his Wikipedia page besides "Got into Harvard because his felon father gave the college millions of dollars."
The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance Into Harvard, by Daniel Golden, November 18, 2016.Of course, this is all alleged behind the scenes stuff, but the Wall Street Journal has reported that in addition to a major bias against Asians, and an enormous advantage for blacks, there is an official, open bias toward children of donors called the Dean's Interest List, and thus against middle-class whites:
Define “connected whites”— Tom (@thomasmidleton) April 21, 2022
From the article: "Nearly half of white students admitted to Harvard between 2009 and 2014 were recruited athletes, legacy students, children of faculty and staff, or on the dean’s interest list—applicants whose parents or relatives have donated to Harvard ..." https://t.co/TvV7rYq2L1— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) April 21, 2022
So apparently the Harvard Number is not just a rumor. But if you were reading VDARE.com you knew about it long before the WSJ did.