The College Admissions Scandal: Why the Best Things in Life Aren’t Free

By Stacia Nugent

It was recently discovered that dozens of wealthy people, including celebrities and CEOs, cheated the education system in order to get their children into college. They paid up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for people to take the college entrance exams for their children, falsify documents and other fraudulent acts, according to news reports. Two of the accused include Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin (now fired from her TV show, Fuller House) and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Wives.) Accused parents paid a conman who’d set up a foundation to receive the payments to hire people to take the SAT instead of their children. Some of the accused parents provided fake documentation claiming their children had disabilities in order to get extra time to take the exam. In addition, parents committed fraud by claiming their children were top athletes, even sending doctored photos of athletes with their children’s faces superimposed on the photo. They knew that these top prestigious universities¬† – including Yale and the University of Southern California – would accept a star athlete with mediocre scores, so they went for this lie.

So, these parents risked getting arrested, publicly shamed, and probed by the FBI for a bumper sticker on the back of their car? Americans have many rights but the right to break the law for bragging rights isn’t one of them.

Students who rightfully earned their 4.0’s, 1600’s, and 36’s, are outraged at this criminal act and feel that this should be investigated. They strongly believe that it’s not fair that honest students were rejected over students who cheated their way through high school.

Not only is it immoral to lie on college applications, but it’s also bad to believe that we can cheat our way through life without suffering any consequences. Knowledge doesn’t enter our minds on its own. We have to work for it. It is wonderful to get into a top 20 school, but what happens then? Going to a top 20 doesn’t make us great, it’s what we do at the top 20 that defines us.

How can we prevent this from happening again? I suggest that while reading college applications, admissions officers should begin to verify information that they suspect is false. I also believe that photographic evidence of activities performed should be required in the college applications, along with signatures and notes from the supervisors. I am not saying that my proposed methods will always be effective, but I do believe, however, that my proposed methods have the ability to minimize the likelihood of these incidents occurring in the future. Let’s hope this gets better.