Bribery Exposes Unfair Admissions Process

College Bribery Scheme Exposes America's Unequal Admissions Process

The breaking FBI investigation is only the tip of the iceberg.

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The Justice Department on Tuesday released details of the "largest college admissions scam" ever prosecuted by the organization. The DOJ charged 50 people with participating in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme to get their children into big-name universities despite their average resumés.

Among those charged are television stars Lori Loughlin, of "Full House" fame, and Felicity Huffman, known for her role on "Desperate Housewives." After about a year-long investigation dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," the FBI found that these women, along with many other wealthy parents, had either been bribing college sports coaches to pretend that their child was a recruit, or bribing college entrance exam officials to beef up their child's score after they took the test.

William Singer, a prominent college admissions adviser, headed the scheme. According to officials, Singer collected millions from parents to pay off coaches and testing officials, hiding the money under the guise of a non-profit called the Key Worldwide Foundation.

To those who are wholly unfamiliar with the college admissions process, the scam may come as a huge shock. But for those of use who know a thing or two about the way colleges work, it's not too hard to believe.

Although as Americans we'd love to say that every child is given an equal opportunity, we can all agree this isn't true. A student's socioeconomic status and zip code says a lot about the quality of schooling they're receiving — or rather, the lack of it. But the problem doesn't end after high school.

The average tuition cost of a 4-year public college was $19,189 in 2016. For private schools, this cost reached $39,529. Such costs are unrealistic for most middle-income families, and impossible for those in lower-income brackets.

Moreover, some of the nation's most prestigious schools, including all of those in the Ivy League, are private — meaning the average tuition cost at these schools is even higher than usual.

The result: so-called "top" colleges and universities are the playgrounds of America's wealthy elite. Yale, Georgetown, Stanford — they rely on parents' deep pockets to run business as usual and keep up their glitzy reputations. What this multi-million dollar celebrity scam did was merely expose the mostly unjust, bourgeois culture that already exists within the nation's most popular schools.

Every year, admissions counselors put on a dog and pony show for the families with the biggest net worths, using their enormous prestige to convince parents that they must send their child there, lest they look like the poor beggars of their friend group. And these parents, many of whom are alumni and prominent donors themselves, believe that their child should get a spot in the next graduating class, that they deserve that spot. So when they realize their children are not the bright, shining stars they had always believed them to be, they use their wealth to fix their imperfections. And how could these colleges refuse?

Rich parents have been buying their kids into college since the beginning of time. This story is nothing new. Throw in a multi-million dollar scam and a couple celebrities — that'll make headlines. But we can't forget about the pre-existing education system in this country that keeps the wealthy on top and keeps everyone else grabbing at any chance they can get.

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The Unexpected Relationship

Never let someone make you change who you are.

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I always thought that I could have that fairytale relationship, where you are with one person and they are the love of your life. I never thought I would find someone even more special, causing my life to spiral.

Being on Tinder was always looked at as only wanting to hook up with someone, but there are those few people who managed to find their true love on the app, so why couldn't I? It took a while, but I found someone I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. After being together for a year, things started to change. He wanted me to change and be someone I was not.

When your first love tells you that they wish something would be different, you should take that as a sign saying it isn't a healthy relationship. I thought the opposite and tried everything in my power to stay with him. I became friends with his best friend like he wanted, and I talked more to his family. I thought that would be enough, but he got even more distant with me. I still would not accept ending things.

Anxiety is something that can be caused by several things, and if you have never had one before, it is one of the scariest things to go through alone. Some symptoms could be irrational thoughts, you can't breathe, your heart is racing and maybe more. This could also turn into a panic attack if it gets bad enough. Something that caused all these anxiety attacks, was things my boyfriend would say and do. When I told him about them, he told me its okay but wasn't very reassuring.

Trust is a major part of a relationship, and once that is questioned then that is the end. One day, I was hanging out with his friend, as he wanted all along, and he accused me of cheating. I have been patient with wanting to fix things, but that was something I could not forget. I felt unappreciated at that moment. I was still with his friend after this all went down, and he was the only one who really tried to make me feel better. I don't remember the last time I felt special or appreciated before that night. After I left his house, I felt different.

There is always that "bro-code" between guys where you cannot date your best friends ex, but if there are mutual feelings, then it shouldn't be forbidden. A couple of days after the incident, I ended things with my ex and it did not go well. I had several anxiety attacks throughout that week, and I was fortunate enough to have someone by my side helping me through those tough times. I couldn't be more grateful for all he has done for me in the week this all happened.

If there are ever any doubts in a relationship, that is not healthy. It is best to end things before they get any worse as they did with my relationship. I am terrified of possibly losing the only person who always makes me feel like I am the most important person in their life. I don't know what I would do if we couldn't be together because of them being best friends.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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