A massive nationwide college entrance exam cheating plot was exposed Tuesday, resulting in charges for at least 40 people — including Full House actor Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives — have been charged in a massive college admissions scandal. Yikes. It seems the favorite TV moms have found themselves the stars of real-life Hollywood plot.
Now, your first response might be what the hell is going on these days?! This is some messed up shit. Then again, life isn't fair and the world is fucked up.
Nonetheless, the plot, code-named "Operation Varsity Blues" by the FBI, was revolved around getting students admitted to elite colleges universities, including Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale.
According to BuzzFeed News, "Among those charged are three accused of organizing the scheme, two ACT/SAT administrators, an exam proctor, one college administrator, nine coaches from elite schools, and 33 parents, US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said Tuesday."
According to Vulture, the scam was allegedly run by William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory and counseling business nicknamed "The Key." The business would accept payments from parents and direct their money to an SAT/ACT administrator or a college athletic coach in exchange for a particular service. Such services include exam administrators taking the test on behalf of students or to correct their answers, coaches admitting the students, regardless of their abilities, into college as recruited athletes, and defendants creating fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes according to CNN.
These services are next level fucked up. But in this day and age, this level of cheating is not surprising. If anything, people were waiting for something like to happen as it felt inevitable. Nowadays, families become consumed with the painfully hard, complicated, and often confusing college process driven by their desire and ambition to make sure their kids' dreams come true. That said, 'regular' parents will go at great lengths via tutors, SAT/ACT classes, internships, extracurriculars, etc. to help their kids into elite universities. It can't be startling then that wealthy parents, including celebrities, would go beyond that as they have more money and connections. It was bound to happen.
According to NPR, such payments ranged from $200,000 to $6.5 million. The alleged scheme was revealed after Lelling's office got a lead from someone who "was a target of an entirely separate investigation, who gave us a tip that this activity might be going on."
According to The New York Times, many of the students were not aware that their parents were falsifying their SAT/ACT scores and lying to get them into an elite university. Therefore, no students or universities have been charged with wrongdoing.
That still doesn't mean though that these students or universities haven't been harmed in the process. This scheme arguably makes such elite universities mentioned above look bad, despite not being involved. In addition, the scam arguably diminishes the students and could have a lasting impact on their lives as people know they didn't properly earn their spot in school, despite not knowing what their parents were doing.
I guess money can't buy everything.