College Admission Scandal


CreditCreditKatherine Taylor/EPA, via Shutterstock

Lori Loughlin leaving Federal Court.

Natali Barias, Reporter

Actress Lori Loughlin and “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman are among the 50 people involved in one of the largest college entrance scandals of the nation. This scandal has cast a negative light on privileged Americans who use their wealth to get their children into the colleges of their choice. The actions made by these individuals are unethical and should be used as a learning experience for parents and student alike.

Loughlin and her husband were arrested for allegedly trying to bribe their children’s way into college by paying $500,000 for their admission to the University of South California. Huffman, however, tried to take advantage of the SAT and ACT, claiming that her daughter needed more time to take the tests. Huffman plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud.

Although the people involved in the scandal justified their actions, this scandal has led to a heated discussion about privilege and college admissions. College acceptance is a big milestone that many students in the United States must work very hard to accomplish. There is a lot that goes into not only the process of college applications but the planning beforehand. The entire preparation for college requires students to put a lot of effort into making sure that their academic lives are acceptable for college admissions.

Students must prepare not only for the SAT and ACT, but they must also maintain an acceptable GPA. Many students are also involved in rigorous extracurricular activities that cause them stress. According to a study done by researchers at New York University, 46 percent of private school students stated that they experienced stress on a daily basis. The three main causes of this stress were grades, homework, and college prep. The tasks students must complete to get into a college are difficult and require dedication.

Along with the fact that it is difficult to get into college, it is often extremely difficult to pay for college. According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, students with low-income backgrounds can only afford 1 to 5 percent of colleges. Students already have to pay for standardized tests, college application fees, along with high school expenses prior to graduation. Many students opt to not go to college because it is so expensive.

The actions carried out by those who participated in the college admission scandal have cheapened the meaning of college. Those involved in the scandal have the means to pay for the fees surrounding college along with extra help for their students to succeed academically but in a fair manner. With all of the hard work, dedication, that everyday students must put in just to be considered for college, it is unfair that people can use their wealth as an advantage to get their children into college.

Huffman’s guilty plea and the fact that she has no criminal history may help her get a minimal sentence. Loughlin, on the other hand, has yet to plead guilty. Even still, it leaves us to wonder if a few months is enough punishment for those who have used their privilege and wealth as an advantage over students who work extremely hard to get into college.