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The Intersections of Wealth, Power & Success

Two weeks ago, the biggest college admissions scandal was uncovered. The operation titled Varsity Blues was a years-long investigation in which more than thirty parents and accomplices were charged for bribing elite colleges to admit their children into the school. This scheme was orchestrated by William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key. This business was supposedly created to help low-income kids get into college, but what happened was the complete opposite. What Singer did was collect large sums of money from wealthy parents and distribute them to the colleges the parents wanted their children to be enrolled in. Singer declared his business as a non-profit to hide all of the money that he had coming in. This is obviously illegal, a crime known as money laundering.

Singer’s business was very successful since all of the children got into the schools that they wanted.

At the center of this controversy is Aunt Becky from Full House, who paid $500,000 for her children to get into the University of Southern California. Who knew that Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse made that amount of coin in order to bribe Nicky and Alex into college?

I’m kidding, I’m kidding, Aunt Becky didn’t scam her kids into college but the actress who played her did.


A post shared by OLIVIA JADE (@oliviajade) on

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 so that their two daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade, could attend the University of Southern California’s crew team despite neither of them have ever taken part in the sport. The girls were promptly accepted into the prestigious university, taking the spots away from students that deserved it more and had actually worked hard for it.

Many people are directing their anger more towards Olivia Jade because she is a popular YouTuber and influencer with millions of followers, to which she has vocally expressed that she does not care about school.

This is wrong on so many levels, but are we really surprised that rich people have been buying their kids’ way into college? Of course not! It’s been going on for years! The only reason why this case has been so big and people are more outraged by it is due to the people involved and how common and easy it seems to be. Turns out you have to pay more than an application fee to get into college, who knew?

I am in disbelief that these people decided to turn to bribery to get their kids into college even when they already have a huge advantage over so many others. They have the financial means for their children to take the standardized tests as many times as needed, they can pay for tutors to help them study better, they can afford private schools and special programs to further their academic careers, their children won’t ever be burdened by student loans, and so much more. Yet they feel as if their children can’t compete with those who don’t have that advantage and instead they resort to bribery.

The other outrage that follows is that these kids are stealing spots from more deserving people and don’t seem grateful for the opportunities that fall in their lap. An example of this is Olivia Jade once again, who has publicly voiced that she doesn’t care about school and that she just wants to focus on YouTube and building her brand. If that’s your goal, you don’t need to go to college for that; college is not for everyone and it isn’t an obligation. If you don’t want to go, don’t go! If you go and find out it’s not for you, you can drop out! There’s no shame in that because you do it to pursue something that you love. That’s fine, all that matters is that everyone is happy. What’s not fine is using your privilege, whether it is economically or otherwise, to take away someone else’s opportunity at higher education.

So what I want to say, is that all of the privileged children that don’t wish to pursue higher education, it’s perfectly fine, especially if you have the social commodity to live without getting a higher education. Some people, due to social circumstances and the way the system is built, only have some chance to succeed in life by attending college. Even then, spots for minorities are scarce. Don’t take away spots especially when you don’t care about getting educated.

A lot of people might lose faith in the college process and find it a waste of time because they are now more aware of the fact that if they’re not wealthy, their chances of being admitted to college are slimmer. This is something that’s very sad because this whole situation proves that the “money isn’t everything” trope is a lie. As it turns out, money is everything and the United States is run by it.

The more money they have, the more likely they are to succeed. It determines how powerful they’ll be because they’ll have access to the best things possible, while people who might be worthier have to work twice as hard for what the rich get in an easier way, like a college admission. Money does not guarantee that what you stand for is right, and the focus shifts to making more money instead of trying to fix the problems that plague society today. This advantage that grants power is inherently more harmful. While this might not seem like a big deal right now, because colleges can take measures to avoid this in the future, it has uncovered how much our future is going to be affected due to wealth and power.

Gabriela is currently an English Major at the University of Puerto Rico. When she isn't reading fantasy books, she can be found writing them. She is a Vegetarian Hufflepuff that loves zombie fiction, an irony in itself. An aspiring filmmaker, she one day dreams of winning an Oscar for her films.
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