Our Take: College Admissions Scandal
By: Stacy Omosa
The admissions scandal brought forth by the Federal Bureau of Investigation sheds light on the ongoing systematic abuse of the college admissions process by wealthy and privileged families. The list of people who utilized this service paid enormous amounts of money to have their children lie, cheat and steal spots from deserving students. The scandal started by CEO William Rick Singer and his college preparatory academy company called the Key took in clients such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman; offering them guaranteed spots in prestigious schools. How he acquired these spots was by charging the individuals upwards of 500,000 dollars to bribe athletic coaches, SAT administrators and admissions counselors into lying about student's athletic eligibility and changing answers on standardized tests according to CNN. The students applying to the university were widely unaware they were part of this scheme, and blindly put faith into this man and their parents that they had what it took to get into top universities.
One of these students was Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli, who is the worst offender of this scam because she was accepted in the University of Southern California when she never wanted to attend college in the first place.
Repeatedly on her Youtube channel, she unappreciated her position and talked about not wanting to go to school. In one of her YouTube videos, she said she was more focused on the social aspects of college, like partying and tailgates. According to Fox News, Olivia didn't even fill out her applications to college. She was so disinterested in continuing her education that her mother Lori Loughlin went to Mr. Singer so that she could help her without alerting her high school counselors. This is a gross example that highlights how undeserving students attended prestigious university with putting little effort or interest in getting there fairly.
This recent scandal only serves to put a spotlight on a broken system of college admissions. Minorities and working-class students are often forced to prove that they do belong on elite institutions and are just as intelligent as their counterparts. However, with policies such as legacies and donations that turn into outright admissions, more and more privileged students are gaining more of an advantage in admissions by doing the least amount of work.
Historically, universities struggled with lawsuits and scandals that dealt with affirmative action and the arguments that such policies are unfair to those who work hard and aren't minorities. This recent investigation by the FBI flips that argument on its head because the admissions system can be manipulated so much that people aren't getting into university because an affirmative action student took their spot, it may be that a wealthy person took their place instead.
Personally, college admissions are broken because it is no longer about how hard you work, but how carefully you can finesse. Finesse meaning who do you know to tied to that specific university, how influential is your name and background, and how much money do you have. It's sad we keep pushing for students to work hard, be a leader and join clubs while others are getting in because of their who they are instead of what have they done. It proves that getting into college doesn't require much intelligence but much privilege.
It is a good thing that this scam was brought to light and thoroughly investigated. Already universities are looking into their admissions process to investigate any wrongdoing. Also, the scandal can start the conversation about gaining opportunities because of privileges and forces universities to admit students based on their character and intellect rather than wealth.