I had first heard about the college bribery scandal that just broke a few days ago when I was watching the local news and was surprised to see that it included high profile actresses like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. However, shortly after the story broke, I quickly went about the rest of my day, and didn't think much of it. That quickly changed after a friend of mine sent me a screenshot of Twitter meme with a video clip of Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade, who has a Youtube channel and was fraudulently accepted in USC. In the clip, she talks about how she does not really care about school and wants to attend college so she can party and go to game days. The meme was funny but the video truly angered me to say the least, due to the total lack of understanding that simply going to college is a privilege for most people, let alone the fact that she was admitted into a elite school on a fraudulent basis.
The admissions scandal involved many different people, from wealthy parents, to coaches at prestigious schools, and admissions test officials. The parents essentially paid to have people take the SAT or ACT for their children in some cases, and come up with fake credentials to put on their children's applications, such as saying that they were star athletes when they often did not even participate in sports. In the case of Olivia Jade, her application stated that she was a member of the high school crew team, and was admitted to USC on the premise that she would also be on the crew team. However, she did not even participate in crew, and edited images of her rowing were used as "proof," in addition to the coaches at USC being paid off.
The whole situation is not only outrageous, but it really says a lot about the place of money in our society. No matter how hard you work to get into college or overcome extenuating circumstances in your life, your spot will be given to someone wealthy who can pay off officials and scam their way in of they chose to do so. It sends the message that a separate system and set of rules exist for the wealthy. Everyone knows that the cost of college has skyrocketed, and this has made higher education almost unattainable for many people who do not come from wealthy families or have access to financial aid resources. Many students have to delay their entrance to college, work their way through school, or simply not attend because of real life financial difficulties. The college admissions process has become increasingly competitive as well, and in many instances hard-working students are left wondering if they will even be accepted to college at all, or face rejection from their dream schools. Higher education is still a privilege for most, and all of these fraudulent admissions are a slap in the face to the hard working students who had their spots taken by those who bribed their way into college.