College Admissions Scam Is A Symptom Of Our Education System

The College Admissions Scandal Is Only A Symptom Of Our Education System

What does it mean about the value of an education if it can be bought?


It hardly seems shocking that the extremely wealthy are scamming their children into college. Even without cheating, children born into wealthy families already have large advantages over poorer students. More money means more prep classes, more chances to take standardized tests, more college trips, more connections, and often more parental support. Families living from paycheck to paycheck often work more hours and don't have the same time and money to dedicate to their children's future. First generation college students have to figure out the application process alone. Now, it seems, the wealthy have taken their advantages a step further.

The investigation of the college admissions scam went by the name "Operation Varsity Blues" and is being called the largest college admissions scam to ever be prosecuted. As of now, fifty people are being charged, from university coaches to SAT/ACT proctors and administrators, to college administrators and to thirty-three wealthy parents. These parents paid from $200,000 to $6.5 million just to get their kids into school. To me, this scam seems fairly unsurprising, but when put into perspective, the scandal is heartbreaking. Every wealthy parent who scammed their child into a top university took away the chance of attendance away from a hardworking, honest student. Every college or education administrator who agreed to take the money turned college education into a consumer product and made it a luxury that (like almost everything) is more accessible to the privileged members of our society.

Lori Loughlin, known for her role in Full House, was one of the parents charged in the investigation. Her daughter, Olivia Jade, posted to her millions of social media followers that she didn't know how much of school she was actually going to attend but that she does want the "experience of like game days and partying." Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli are being accused of having paid $500,000 to ensure their daughters' spots at the University of Southern California. The school labeled the girls as crew recruits despite their complete lack of experience with the sport.

Lori Loughlin is one among many wealthy parents to cheat their children into college. The memes and tweets about the scam are funny, but the issue is completely serious. What does it mean about the value of an education if it can be bought? Even outside the scandal, the costs to receive an education at top rate universities have soared higher than they ever have. Student debt is unpayable, and in many ways, it seems that university education has become a capitalist opportunity to produce revenue. Many schools are seen as a brand name for a resume, and the pressure is on preparation for life careers rather than on life enrichment through learning. With prices so high that disadvantaged students can't even afford their dream school it only makes sense that getting into college is another opportunity that is more accessible to the rich. Within this corrupted context, we need to attempt to bring back value and respectability to the education system before it's too late.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...


I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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