College Admissions Scandal Raises Questions of Integrity

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College Admissions Scandal Raises Questions of Integrity

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Hardworking, dedicated students spend most of their teenage years studying for one goal: to get into a good college that will put them on a good path for life. Scarsdale High School has a national reputation for being one of the best public high schools in the United States, which benefits students greatly. “We live in an area where almost everyone is going to go to college,” said Melissa Cohen ’20. As a result, the competition to get into the most elite schools is fierce. Over the years, colleges have become even more selective, and solid grades and extracurriculars are no longer cutting it.

Similarly, in the world of fame, the pressure on celebrities to have their kids go to elite colleges is large. “Institutions that are the most sought after have become more selective – more students fighting for the same amount of slots,” noted SHS Dean Ava D’Elia. Two weeks ago, because of this very reason, more than 50 over-involved parents were caught bribing their kids’ way into elite universities. With many students working harder than ever and parents going into severe economic distress over college, it is no wonder that this scandal has caused so much outrage.

One of many well-endowed celebrities involved in this nationwide scandal is actress Lori Loughlin, best known for her role on Full House. She bought the services of William Rick Singer, a college consultant who allegedly helped dozens of families bribe college athletics and admissions faculty. Loughlin paid Singer to get her daughters into USC by photoshopping their heads onto pictures of crew athletes and bribing USC coaches to accept them as recruits. However, although they will be armed with the best lawyers, these celebrities cannot buy their way out of the consequences of their actions. Due to this scandal, Olivia Jade—Lori Loughlin’s daughter, a famous Youtuber and influencer—has also lost many of her sponsorships including with HP, Sephora Collection, and Princess Polly.

Although wealthy children may already have the upper-hand with more access to prestigious education, tutors, and connections, some parents still decided to take illegal and extreme pathways to ensure their children a place in top schools. “Like any market, there is supply and demand. There is a certain number of spots and people do whatever they can to get in them,” explained Diane Guenin, a volunteer at the SHS College and Career Center. However, while many people think that getting into college will solve all of their problems, it is important to choose a college that is the right fit for the student, as it will function as a stepping stone to their next phase of life.

Though this scandal may be one of many more in the future that are just waiting to be uncovered, it will hopefully be a wake up call to universities around the country to restore integrity to the college admissions system.