What the College Admissions Scandal Says About Privilege

Just in case you haven’t been up to date with the news during your spring break, here are the details of this circus of exorbitant wealth and deceit. According to Forbes, the unprecedented 25 million dollar college admissions scandal ensnares 50 college coaches, celebrities, CEOs and more. The scandal dates back to 2011 and has been dubbed “Operations Varsity Blues."  Full House actress Lori Loughlin and Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman are two of the most notable names involved.

The alleged crimes vary from bribing college entrance exam officials to bribing coaches to portray involved applicants falsely as recruited athletes and laundering money within the guise of charitable organizations. It is also supposed that students involved had other individuals take classes and exams in their place which appeared within their applications to select universities along with blatant lies within applications such as, doctored exam scores, grades and with awards and achievements said students never actually received. Universities impacted by the scandal include USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Boston University, University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest.

This news is disheartening to current and prospective college students and almost feels like a slap in the face. To feel like your value, not only as an intellectual but as an individual, can be deemed meaningless by another person simply because of their net worth is truly upsetting. Such a feeling could deter those lower on the socioeconomic ladder from even attempting higher education and the college admissions process as a whole.

There is something that needs to be said not only about the privilege of these parents and their children but the way in which they decided to use it. Their privilege afforded them the best of schools, healthcare, opportunity, and simply their existence in general. They could have utilized the best of the best in terms of tutors, therapists to deal with the stress of the college admissions process and enough wealth to pay for the cost of their college education outright and within the realm of legality. Instead, what they decided to do was use the great privilege afforded to them with malintent and with the knowledge that their actions could alter another person’s life negatively to a dire extent. They decided to steal, lie, and manipulate, all while living a glamorous and unbothered lifestyle.

This scandal is not only disgustingly disrespectful and purely selfish but it is also lazy. The average college student can only dream of the opportunity these individuals possessed and squandered. The average college student also works so hard to get to the point they are at, and the actions perpetrated are not only an attack on their work ethic but also to the degree they are working to earn. This occurrence will hopefully cause future employers and colleges to recognize those implicated in this scandal as incompetent and quite frankly of poor character.

I hope that this scandal calls into question the legal yet biased practices of the college admissions process and that our university system in the United States can be bettered by the unfairness perpetrated. To those involved, I would like to ask you the following question: was it really worth it? If you’ve made it in college based on your own merit, congratulate yourself on being a person of true integrity, collegiette!