After reports of the FBI indicting 50 people as a part of an illegal college admission scandal, many seniors, including myself, have been frustrated by the news. The report released by the FBI on March 12 detailed how extremely wealthy families were able to bribe coaches, cheat on college admission tests and buy “guarantees” for their children to get into elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
The role that money plays in attaining higher education is undeniable. Students that come from wealthy families have always been accepted into elite universities at a disproportionate rate. However, the reasons why are typically implicit. Rich families can afford to send their kids to private schools, higher personal tutors and enroll in prestigious music and sports programs. All of these factors, while dependent on a large amount of wealth, are considered fair advantages when applying to college. Bribery, deception and fraud are not.
Rather than using their wealth to better prepare their kids for college, the families charged by the FBI blatantly cheated the admissions process. Coming from money already puts students at such an advantage that resorting to trickery and multi-million dollar bribes shows how truly inept these students were. If it takes $500,000 for you to get into a school with a 13 percent acceptance rate (USC), I can only imagine what your true abilities are. That’s not to mention the student whose parents paid $6.5 million for their child to attend one of America’s top colleges.
It’s hard not to want to blame the kids involved. After all, they are the ones who this was all for. However, I believe that this situation is entirely on the parents. Even if some of the faux-Ivy League students were in on their parents’ plans, the parents were the ones who raised the kids so incompetently that a multi-million dollar bribe was necessary to attend a certain university.