You hear it every post-election, after countless boxing decisions, the Super Bowl, you name it: “The system is rigged.” The 50 people indicted by the Justice Department for illegally scheming to get their progenies admitted to select colleges is “the worst scandal involving elite universities in the history of the United States,” according to Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz.

And so it goes.

This latest scandal of the deep state involving college admissions is really nothing new as the 2009 book “The Price of Admission,” aptly described, entry to select colleges has been up for sale for decades.

One of the great ambiguities of Americana is the impervious university admissions labyrinth and it took a lawsuit against Harvard to learn that their admissions office utilizes an exclusive “black box.” And here I thought black boxes were confined to airplanes. Rather, they are as top secret as our military’s nuclear codes in determining who makes it to Oz and who gets stuck pining in Kansas.

Merit may get you considered, but the intangible variables of race, gender, geography, alumni legacy, athletic expediency, sexual identity, trustee connections and social justice campaigning are plugged into an overloaded black box that has little to do with academic scholarship.

This is how select collegiate admissions truly function.

The “prestige” these schools sell is branding in the first-degree. Since people are willing to pay, tuition and fees will continue to compound. Given that universities base their business template on the ever-present and complex student loan industry and Uncle Sam’s generous federal subsidies, the gravy train is long and loaded.

The time for the nation’s higher education industrial complex to go cold turkey from Uncle Sam’s benevolence is long past due. The federal eagle has already nested too high and secure in academia’s ivy-covered gazebo. Taxpayer subsidies need to end, including the charitable contribution.

Like Mike Gill tells me, if you think college is expensive now, wait until it’s free with politicians like AOC doubling down by having Uncle Sam foot the entire bill.

Alumni can do their part by severing their almighty dollar from ever reaching campus. Most alums have no idea what’s transpiring back on the old quad and donate without giving it a second thought with their true intent of seeking a tax break.

Follow the money, or as Rep. Ilhan Omar likes to say, “It’s all about the benjamins.” Call it Econ101; now CLEP yourself three credits and take out another student loan. Such machinations are yet another symptom of an ailing culture fixated on show rather than substance.

Moreover, why aren’t the folks who administer the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, being investigated, too?

Students falsely admitted would likely struggle academically, yet apparently they don’t. Why isn’t this being questioned? Academic rigor? Not when intersected with grade inflation that only results in learning deflation, but who cares.

It’s about credentialing and networking, not educating and critical thinking.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that those fraudulently admitted have little trouble doing the work. It’s been reported that at most “top-tier” schools, nearly 90 percent of grades are A’s or B’s, which provides students ample time to signal their virtue. In the land of the snowflake, seeking out those micro-aggressions while exploring all your genders as you burrow within your safe space is life on the quad.

All the while, the universities involved see themselves as victims, which is comical.

Those who have earned distinguished grades and compatible SAT scores and were rejected should sue, while those admitted fraudulently should be expelled out of respect for those who justly deserve the opportunity.

Entitlement-minded parents produce entitlement-minded progeny, and they will stop at nothing to get what they want, not what they deserve. Progressive Democrats espouse inclusiveness, fairness and equality nonstop, while stacking the deck in their favor.

Leave it to Democrats to spend $200,000 to go $100,000 in debt and a first-class ticket to Baristaville.

Even more scandalous is the woeful condition of higher education that is hostage to progressivism, where conservatives are forbidden and speech codes rule, while education and critical thinking are AWOL and since 1979, tuition and fees have increased 1,300 percent.

Something’s terribly wrong when the degree is worth more than the education.

Maresca, a local freelance writer, composes “Talking Points” for each Sunday edition.

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