Angel is Angry: College scam edition

Angel Kontra, Editor

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Getting into college is one of the most prominent sources of stress for seniors and their parents alike. The amount of time and money that goes into testing, touring, and scholarships is actually absurd. Mix this with the other responsibilities of high school, work, and the looming future ahead, acceptance is no joke.  

With this is mind, one can only imagine the anger and frustration I felt when the most recent college scam was uncovered on Tuesday March 12.  

It’s no secret that money and fame have a huge influence over college acceptance. Able to afford testing coaches, aid for college admissions essays, and donations in the thousands, these wealthy parents use their resources to sway the acceptance of their children into elite institutions. This process has been around for years, and it unfortunately won’t be changing anytime soon.  

However, in the recent scandal that surfaced, bribery was the source of influence at play. Just a side note, the literal definition of a bribe is “money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, especially in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official, etc.” Thank you dictionary.com. 

 Anyway, for some celebrities, their current upper hand advantage just wasn’t enough. Instead, according to CNN, fifty people including CEOs, popular faces of Hollywood, and college coaches “stand accused of participating in a scheme to cheat on admissions tests and admit students to leading institutions as athletes regardless of their abilities,” including Yale University, the University of Southern California, and Stanford University.  

 The mastermind behind this operation is college consultant William Rick Singer age 53. According to Bloomberg, Singer pleaded guilty to multiple charges including, “racketeering, money laundering, fraud, and obstruction of justice.”   

Now, this situation is absolutely infuriating for a multiplicity of reasons, but for time’s sake, I will be highlighting three. 

Reason number one: It’s completely unfair. NEWS FLASH: a very small percentage of the average high school student population has access to the amount of wealth and resources these celebrity children have had since birth. Literally everybody else has to put in actual time and effort into their applications. We have to write our own essays using our own brains, get a job to help pay for the fees that come with sending out test scores and completed applications, and we have to do all this… wait for it… ALL BY OURSELVES. Nobody holds our hands and gives us the opportunity of a lifetime without diligent work and dedication from us.  

Reason number two: the whole thing is drenched in bias. Those who were involved in the illegal acceptances were helping people who are perfectly capable of getting into college if they would actually pretend they weren’t entitled for three seconds. Moreover, the institutions accepting these “princes” and “princesses” are giving away deserving spots to the people I talked about in reason number one, us. It’s an actual injustice that the people who have worked the hardest they could throughout their high school careers are being denied because someone with a “big name” that sits on a thrown of privilege buys their way in.  

Reason number three: these celebrities literally could never be as grateful as the people who put in their own work. Lori Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Giannulli, better known as Olivia Jade on her social media platforms, posted one of the most disgustingly ignorant videos I have ever had the misfortune of viewing. In a video she posted to her YouTube channel that has since been deleted, she admits, “I don’t know how much of school I’m going to attend.” Her lack of attendance can be attributed to her busy “work” schedule that allows her to travel to places like Fiji and New York on the regular. Boo Hoo for her! I’m actually shedding a tear. She continues saying, “I do want the experience, of like, games days, partying… I don’t really care about school as you guys all know.” Olivia is one of the students that was accepted into college as a result of this scam, getting into the University of Southern California after being photoshopped into pictures of her participating in crew, despite never being a member herself.  

Due to the surfacing allegations, colleges part of the scandal are reviewing applications to ensure qualified students earned their spots. Both Loughlin daughters, Olivia and Isabella Giannulli, dropped out of USC before they were presumably kicked out.  

In total, this whole thing is an absolute mess, I hope the controversy from this scandal raises more attention to similar cases of bribing to get into college, and I cannot wait to see what kind of sentences those involved will receive. The future itself is stress-inducing enough, and we don’t need to include “competing with people who cheat their way into college” to our plates.  

Please feel free to share your thoughts below, the Courier would love to hear what you have to say.  

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