Receiving your college acceptance letter in the mail is supposed to be one of the most nerve-racking, yet exciting moments of your life. You've worked incredibly hard throughout high school, have made many sacrifices, pulled all-nighters, saved money, and are now ready to take that next big step in your academic career. But, what I told you there was an easier way to reach this higher level of learning.
No more stressing over whether or not your SAT scores are good enough, if you've devoted enough of your time to community service, or have joined as many extracurriculars as you possibly could - all you have to do is "donate" thousands of dollars to the school of your choice. Apparently, for the child stars of Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman, it really is that easy.
On March 12th, fifty wealthy US families were indicted on the grounds of bribery and cheating within the college entrance exams. The mastermind behind the scandal titled "Varsity Blues" is William Singer, a reputable college preparatory school counselor located in Los Angeles, California. In exchange for the money, Singer allegedly bribed college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students secure admissions not on their merits, but through fraud. Over the years, he managed to collect over $25 million in payments from parents who wanted their children accepted into the most elite colleges around the nation including Yale, Stanford, USC, Georgetown, Wake Forest, and UCLA.
Lori Laughlin (of Full House) and Mossimo Giannulli (creator of Mossimo at Target) paid a total of $500,000 dollars for both of their children, Olivia Jade & Isabella Giannulli, to attend one of California's most prestigious institutions, USC. The girls were "recruited" by the university's rowing team, despite having never rowed crew in their high school careers, and accepted under-the-table through athletic scholarships. Olivia Jade is the more well-known of the two girls, having built a name for herself on YouTube with videos incasing her beauty regimen, fashion tips, travel vlogs, and even her "authentic" life as a college student. She has even managed to land brand deals with Amazon showcasing her dorm room, Treseme, Sephora, Smile Direct Club, and has created her own clothing line with online fashion store, Princess Polly.
Despite having actually had the academic qualifications to attend USC, she still flaunted her status with "dorm room decorating" and "college week in my life" videos. Of course, many users on social media had a lot to say about this.
This entire situation just goes to show how flawed and easily manipulated the US academic system is. No matter how pristine your grades, SAT scores, participation in extracurriculars, attendance, or personality may seem to the College Board, mommy and daddy's money can buy you that degree.
Meanwhile, thousands of hopeful high school kids are busting a** for the chance to attend the university of their dreams - some even having trouble paying the $70 dollar application fee to apply. They're working extra hours after classes end, taking out loans, selling cars, and babysitting on the weekends to make ends meet, whereas Olivia Jade literally said in a video "I don't really care about school." Yeah, it shows.
As of now, her parents, along with dozens of other families, have been called into court to decide the fate of their futures. No word has been reported on whether Olivia or sister Isabella have been expelled from USC, but what we do know is that these families' reputations have been tarnished forever.