It really is no secret that people with money often have the advantage over others who do not have as much. That concept is as old as dirt.
The most recent outrage involves a cheating scandal that has shaken up administrators at some very prestigious schools.
William Rick Singer, who owns a for-profit college admission company, was allegedly paid to help students cheat on college entrance exams. He is also charged with falsifying athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools.
Some of the schools involved include UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown.
Singer has cooperated with authorities in the investigation and has pleaded guilty.
Several business executives and two actresses are among more than 40 people charged in the cheating scheme. The charges include conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
The suspects allegedly paid bribes to sports coaches and administrators to help get the students admitted to institutions, regardless of athletic or academic abilities. Some even made claims of disabilities.
The colleges have not been charged as co-conspirators.
Apparently the cheating scheme involved cheating on SAT and ACT exams on behalf of students and bribing college administrators and athletic coaches to recruit certain students.
Authorities say some of the people charged posed as the actual student to take college exams, and in other cases students were provided the answers during the exam or the person administering the test corrected the answers after the student had completed the exam.
Photos sent in with the application often included staged photos of students participating in certain sports that they had never played. Some pictures were even photo shopped to insert the student’s faces onto the bodies of real athletes.
I’m still trying to figure out what the big fuss is about. A rich person paying for their children to get into elite colleges isn’t breaking news. America’s wealthy have always used their power, influence and money to ensure their children are accepted in to elite colleges.
For rich kids, being selected to an elite school can be the golden ticket to desirable jobs, prospective spouses and influential social circles.
To those of us who came from hard-working middle class families, it was always about getting things on our own merit, but we come from a different world.
There isn’t much difference in this scheme and parents making huge monetary donations to a university when it is time for their child to attend.
They will continue to have an advantage over lower-income families long after the dust settles on this scandal.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote about how America’s ruling class buys its way into elite colleges. His findings included, “college administrators routinely allow an academically weak applicant to leap over a strong one and that children of wealth and influence occupy so many slots that the admissions odds against middle-class and working-class students with outstanding records are even longer that the colleges acknowledge.” His book was written in 2006.
In 2016, he wrote an article detailing how a certain White House advisor’s father pledged $2.5 million dollars to Harvard University in 1998. He son was later admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school.
It didn’t take but a few days for the law suits to start.
One outraged parent has filed a class action lawsuit against the actresses and the college where her son applied. She is demanding $500 billion dollars in damages.
She claims her son was rejected by some of the schools mentioned in the cheating scandal, even though he had a 4.2 GPA. She believes her son’s application would not have been rejected if the admission process had not been manipulated. The action was filed on behalf of every person in the United States whose right to a fair chance at entrance to college was stolen by the actions of the defendants.
Another Stanford graduate who received a degree is also suing. She claims the scandal has devalued her degree because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted on her merits or if her parents bribed her way in.
This now has reached the point of ridiculous. Both of these lawsuits need to be thrown to the curb quickly. What a waste of court time. Would a, Could a, Should a. Neither of these can say with certainty what the outcome would have been.
Give them back their $85 application fee and be done.
But, I guess if they win big bucks, they can join the elite and buy their children a degree.
The relatives of one applicant, who has been identified as part of the scheme, paid $1.2 million dollars to a soccer coach to say the student was part of the team.
One FBI special agent said some parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee admissions for their children. These bribes exceeded the cost of tuition. You don’t need an accounting degree to understand this is a bad deal.
Some of those involved are facing serious jail time.
Locking these people up may sound like a deterrent to such college admission shenanigans, but I wouldn’t take that to the bank. Some things will never change.