By Reece Andavolgyi:
The $25 million college admissions scandal shows just how far money and power can get you; prison. Thirty parents were accused of paying over $25MM in total to buy their children’s way into elite universities and college like Yale, USC, UCLA and Harvard.
The parents charged are a who’s who so successful people from financial and real estate executives, CEO’s, Physicians, Full House’s Aunt Becky — Lori Loughlin and fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli along with Desperate Housewives alum, Felicity Huffman. In the latest news, Huffman took a plea and is looking at possibly
Loughlin and Giannulli pled not guilty after rejecting a plea, claiming they didn’t know their $500,000 payment to get their daughters into school was illegal. (thecut.com) The two could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted and await their trial.
This college admissions scandal that has shocked the nation not only brings of the question of ‘the ultra rich’ and the wealthy’s scamming and bribing their children into college but what it means next for college admissions all over the US?
USC alumni and Dean of Admissions at the University of Rochester, Jon Burdick, had some words about the scandal:
“The realm of excuse that is arising is “they are misguided by the system into believing that only certain colleges are the golden ticket to their dreams. They fear for their children’s downward mobility. W-we did it…for the *children!” Bull. For those people whose riches have outstripped their talents, the fear of their children missing out on the same underserved success is vaguely disquieting, somewhere between a really bad day for the Dow Jones and a flat tire…Their fear is being socially maladroit, pitied and outcast.”
USC alumni and guest professor, Kuuipo Cashman called the scandal, “fascinating:”
“The College Scandal is fascinating to so many people because it’s a crazy example of the power of money. From school officials and coaches who are well-educated and respected and knew better, making horrible decisions just to make money. And parents, who instead of being proud of their children’s accomplishments or pushing them to work harder, just took the easy way out and bought their way into “better” colleges or universities. It’s an extreme inequality not only to all the students who worked hard to make their way into USC but all devoted students who were placed on the waitlist.”
The college admissions scandal not only rocked parents and students but coaches, athletic directors and administration all who we’re paid off to accept students that didn’t deserve spots in these schools. The idea of paying your way into a school or club is not an entirely new phenomenon. In fact, it’s always been around but it affect everyone, not just those using money as a means to get what they want. Whether that be donating a new building or writing a $500,000 check under the guise of a charity to admit your child as an athlete for a sport they’ve never played. USC’s Annenberg School of Communications put out a statement reading, “We pledge to immediately launch a student-faculty reporting initiative. This initiative will seek to discover the full facts of the recent admissions cheating case, as well as previous scandals, of equal or greater gravity.” As for students linked to the scandal, they cannot register for classes nor access transcripts. (@USC on Twitter.)
Former Conde Nast Editor and Head of Fashion at Instagram Eva Chen commented on the scandal when she talked about her college experience, “I didn’t get into the school I wanted to and I feel like it was a really good character building experience.” The idea that you can’t become successful if you don’t attend an elite and prestigeous university is just not true. USC’s acceptance rate is at an all time low at 11% which means even students ranked top of their high school classes will be denied admission. The University earned the 22nd spot on the U.S. News and World Report Best College Rankings in 2019. The prestige and name that comes with going to USC creates such high stakes and going to a school like USC becomes a status symbol. Having the grades and high school accolades is not enough.
So what’s next? Are the first 33 parents in the #collegeadmissionsscandal just the edge of the tipping block? The college admissions scandal case, coined Operation Varsity Blues, is still ongoing and more indictments are expected. Until then we wait to see if Loughlin and Gianulli will be found guilty. Breaking the rules when you have money will get you further then the rest of us. But just how far?