Recent information implicates many wealthy families in a scandal that involves cheating and bribing their children’s ways into college. Current reports have shown that at least fifty people were involved in the scandal that included offenses such as cheating on college entrance exams, bribing school officials to allow their child admission into the college, and the ability to participate on collegiate sports teams. The parents face federal charges on their actions, as do many of the individuals that facilitated the cheating or allowed the scheme to proceed unimpeded.
The scheme has been traced back to William Singer, the CEO of The Key, a college admissions prep community. He plead guilty to fraud both on the SAT/ACT and getting fake athletic credentials for students in order to get scholarships and admission to the school of their choice. He has stated that his goal was to “help the wealthiest families in the US get their kids into school.” However, he claimed that his nonprofit organization was designed to help students at a financial disadvantage.
Parents involved in the scandal would often pay between $15,000 and $75,000 to cheat on just one test. Singer has been found guilty of bribing test officials to allow him to arrange for a third-party to take the test for the students. He also pulled strings with college coaches to obtain athletic scholarships for students. One of the couples involved in the scandal, Lori Loughlin from the show “Full House” and her husband, Mossimo Gianulli, allegedly paid half of a million dollars to get their daughters onto the crew team at the University of Southern California.
Parents nationwide are outraged by the dishonest display by those with an economic advantage. The actions of these families did not purely allow their children the top academic opportunities in the nation, but also deprived more qualified students from receiving the same opportunity. A group of parents and students rejected from the schools involved have filed a lawsuit against them as they state that they feel that they wasted their time and money on applying as the entire process was “warped and rigged by fraud.”
Although involved in the scandal, one young man has claimed that he was unaware that he was involved and has since apologized. He has since said that he is upset that he was unknowingly involved in such an egregiously unfair scheme, and that he is sorry for his accidental involvement.
Another student at Yale University whose parents allegedly paid over a million dollars to gain admission to the Ivy League school, has been removed from the school due to her parents actions. Other colleges such as USC have said that they will be reviewing students who are already within their school and will be denying the current applicants that were involved with the scandal.
Although students are being removed and lawsuits are being filed in response to the scandal, there are many students from the involved schools that now feel that their degrees will lose worth even though they had no involvement in the scandal. The schools involved will also lose a great deal of credibility as the degrees that they give to students may now be questioned in terms of whether the students earned them due to their own merit.
This scandal has made a massively negative impact on the involved academic institutions and their students. The universities will now need to find a way to rebuild the credibility that they had developed over the course of many years as some of the most prestigious schools in the nations.