The Perpetuation of Privilege and Inequality

The Ongoing College Admissions Scandal

By: Maxwell Velikodny

The Ongoing College Admissions Scandal. Photo Credit: Abc57.com

The recent college admissions scandal has shown the length the rich, powerful, and privileged go to in order to maintain their self-proclaimed prestige. The scandal, named “Operation Varsity Blues,” created a system where wealthy parents pay coaches, admissions officers, institutions, test takers, and the schools themselves, to help get their child into elite colleges.

The mastermind behind the operation is CEO, William Singer, who bribed SAT proctors to facilitate cheating, paying administrators to ‘recruit’ athletes and using charity donations to conceal bribery payments since 2011.  

According to The Banner, “Singer used several tactics to gain students’ admissions to top schools like UCLA, USC, Yale, Georgetown, and Stanford. He would often coordinate with SAT proctors and administrators to produce inflated exam results. Additionally, he would use his connections with college coaches to create fake athletic profiles for applicants, even if they were not deserving of athletic recognition.”

Over 50 parents, conspirers, and coaches are being charged for various crimes like racketeering, bribery, and various forms of fraud. Ironically, The Wall Street Journal reports, “the alleged scheme was discovered through an unrelated case involving an executive being investigated for securities fraud.

As part of that investigation, the executive named Singer as being at the center of the alleged admissions scheme.”

Some of the more prominent parents that were charged and involved in the scandal were actresses, Lori Laughlin, and Felicity Huffman. Laughlin was on the show Full House, and Felicity Huffman was on Desperate Housewives.

CNN reports that Felicity Huffman and thirteen others have already pleaded guilty in participating in the country’s biggest college admissions scandal. Lori Laughlin, however, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“Oliva Jade, daughter of actress Lori Loughlin, has never rowed in her life, but her college application said otherwise. Her parents, Lori Laughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, fabricated an admissions profile depicting their daughters as devote members of the crew team.

They paid a whopping $500,000 to make this happen. These large sums of money were often funneled into Singer’s accounts through generous donations to his charity “The Key Worldwide.” When authorities caught wind of this, they arrested Loughlin, but later released her on a million dollar bail,” said The Banner.

Oliva Jade didn’t even want to go to USC. She is angry with her parents for participating in something she did not want to be a part of.

Her reputation has also been ruined. On her YouTube Channel, she creates makeup videos and has many sponsors for her channel.

Ever since the scandal was announced though, many sponsorships were revoked.

It is easy to feel sorry for Olivia Jade, but she is not losing a lot here. Yes, her reputation is being dragged through the mud but that is her parent’s fault.

She can still rebuild her image. Secondly, she the daughter of a wealthy and famous family.

Her family’s wealth offers a safety net that other students and even adults do not have. Additionally, the many different connections she is already privileged with because of her family’s prestige is enough to keep her afloat.

There are those that flaunt how they were admitted unfairly or have taken an easier path to their degree, and it is upsetting. These students may have the upper hand when it comes to opportunities, but they lose something just as important, and that is character.

People that persevere through hardship and earn their connections, education, and occupation can be just as successful. Hardworking individuals’ work has value compared to those that do not.

The privileged student would have an easy time getting ahead without struggle because their path is laid out for them by their parents.     

People that work hard and overcome obstacles and failures are the future this country needs, not those that were born into success.

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