i would really send a ticket on this, based on the explanations of how the game works, this should be impossible. considering credit cannot bring a sim from behind. we have consistently been told that a sim will only spend effort up front on kids, and then again later on kids who are not contested. i think when "kids later who are not contested" was added, a bug was introduced, allowing sims to compete against you later - as others have said, this issue has come up before. it would be nice to have a straight answer from seble as to why. (when i say a bug, it could also be that we were given incorrect information, and its working as intended)
im pretty sure you still have to get a scholarship message when effort changes, and that scholarships and WOTS message are still consistent. it has always been the case that the "tight" scholarship message had a lower threshold than the "tight" WOTS message. i think its just a matter of sims doing something we have always been told does not happen.
the guys who make comments about, well, you didnt contact him for a few cycles - that has nothing to do with anything, in HD recruiting.