By Katie Peters – 1851 Staff
Over spring break students may have encountered the news story “Operation Varsity Blues,” the college admissions scandal involving celebrities, such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, that surfaced that week. When federal prosecutors released information about this case on March 12, college students were outraged, as this felt unfair and unethical.
One major player was William Singer, CEO of the life coaching and college counseling company, The Key. According to CNN, Singer helped students alter SAT answers and paid off college admissions counselors and sports coaches to give his clients an advantage over other students. These celebrities are accused of paying The Key in exchange for these services. Other wealthy parents have done similar things like paying off sports recruiters and college admissions counselors.
This is a major source of anger for students who did not have the opportunity to pay their way into college. Many students devote hard work in high school and participate in clubs, sports, jobs, or internships to be consid-ered for their dream school. The students who are caught up in this scandal may have worked hard in and out of school, but these colleges and universities seem to value money over a student’s actual intelligence and capabilities.
Students may also question the integrity of the school they attend. Schools such as Stanford University, Yale University and the University of Southern California were part of a preliminary investigation by The U.S. Department of Education, along with five other schools, which began in March. Yale has decided to rescind the admittance of one student whose parents were accused of bribery but that may not be enough to restore student’s trust in their schools’ morals.
There should not be a monopoly on higher education in one of the richest nations in the world. By accepting that these things happen, we are creating that monopoly. The more often we allow wealthy citizens to pay more for an acceptance letter, the more we take away from students who don’t have access to these resources. There is no one person to blame for this scandal, but a group of parents, students, coaches, and universities who show that money is more valuable than talent.