This Boston Globe story on a Hong Kong family that decided to hire the "admissions consultant" firm IvyAdmit—led by a former Harvard professor—to get their kids into Harvard must be read to be believed. There is a lawsuit now, of course. Briefly:
According to the suit, [consultant Mark] Zimny warned the Chows against giving to schools directly. "Embedded racism" made development offices wary of Asian donors, he allegedly advised them; better to use his company as a middleman.
Over two years, the Chows gave IvyAdmit $2.2 million.
No, the Chows' kids did not get into Harvard.
Always, always bribe the school directly. Can't stress this enough.