OpEd: How'd They Get In?

OpEd: College Admissions Scandal

 By: Abigial LoManto

Over the last week, news broke out about a 10-month FBI investigation which revealed charges against about 50 people who had committed various forms of crime in order to get their children into elite universities across the United States. These parents attempted, and some succeeded, to get their children into schools such as Georgetown University, Yale University, the University of Southern California, and many others.

 

Celebrities such as Lori Loughlin, of Full House, and Felicity Huffman, of Desperate Housewives, were named in the scandal. Loughlin’s daughters were admitted to USC on the premise that her daughters were being recruited for USC’s crew team. Fake photos were taken of the girls to make it look like they were on the team along with fake test scores, and more, amassing to about $500,000 in bribes. Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade is actually a relatively famous Youtuber and Social Media Influencer who has made money from videos she has posted about her college experience. She has even stated prior to the scandal that she basically only went to college to party. Lori Loughlin was arrested and released on a $1 million bond. Since the news hit, Loughlin and her daughter have been dropped from major sponsorships, partnerships, and networks- rightfully so. Huffman allegedly paid money to give her daughter double the amount of time to take the SAT and have it corrected. Huffman was arrested and released on a $250,000 bond.

 

These people knew that if news got out about their crimes, everyone's lives and reputations would be ruined, regardless of being able to pay their way out of jail. Yet they still did it.

 

While this news of bribery within the college admissions process isn’t really “new”, this case is truly astonishing and on another level. It also raises a lot of questions about the crisis of higher education and the privilege of the wealthy.

 

This whole situation is honestly awful. There were so many people involved in this scandal. High school counselors, college admissions counselors, coaches, test proctors, and others, were involved in aiding students to receive admission to top tier schools just for money.

 

If I were a current college senior right now who was waiting for admission decisions, I would feel very discouraged. To an innocent and hardworking high school student, how would he or she know that his or her rejection was valid?

 

I honestly feel bad for the students that have parents involved in this scandal. Whether or not the students knew about what their parents were doing, and I sincerely hope not. The parents of these students didn’t want their kids going to any school other than an Ivy League, or another top tier school, so badly that they committed a serious crime. All parents want their children to excel, achieve, and they love to show off their children to their family and friends. However, not all parents cheat and commit crimes to do so. These parents could afford the best SAT/ACT tutor, the best preparatory high school, and the best coaches if they actually wanted their students to excel in those areas to be able to get into these schools. However, the bottom line is that these people didn’t want to work hard to achieve. After a whole life of growing up with money and getting everything they want, you can see how they would have this attitude. It’s a shame that these students had to go along with this to please their parents or because they thought they actually deserved to go to these schools.

 

What breaks my heart the most is that these students took away spots from deserving students. Many students work hard their whole life to get recruited to a school on an athletic scholarship. They love the sport, they work hard, and, often, the only reason they can afford to go to college is on an athletic scholarship. Other students who studied hours every night to achieve As and high SAT scores are deserving of these spots as well. I don’ t understand how these parents and children can live with themselves knowing that they took away a spot from a truly deserving student.

 

I hope that this scandal forces colleges reform their admissions system because something like this should not have happened.