On March 12, federal prosecutors announced that at least 50 adults have been accused of paying over $25 million to get their kids into the best colleges in the nation. The mastermind behind all of this was William Rick Singer, a college admission counselor who accepted the payments which were used to bribe administrators, proctors and coaches.
Colleges involved in the scandal include Yale, University of Southern California (USC), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Wake Forest University, Stanford, University of Texas at Austin and University of San Diego. They have been accused of having coaches and wealthy parents cheat the system for their kids by lying on the college application and bribing their way in. Things they did include faking disabilities, photoshopping pictures to make it look like their kids were amazing athletes, having an impersonator take the SAT and ACT, and faking their child’s height. In most of the cases, the students had no idea what their parents were doing for them.
The most famous of those accused are actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman who are best known for their roles of Aunt Becky on the show “Full House” and Lynette Scavo on “Desperate Housewives.” Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC. They accomplished this by getting their daughters accepted onto the USC crew team despite the fact the high school they attended did not have a rowing team and they had never played the sport. Huffman is accused of a fraudulent donation of $15,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation so they could receive an imposter to take the SAT and ACT for her daughter.
“I just feel unfortunate for the kids who might have gotten a chance at acceptance by their own merit, but the scandal took that opportunity away from them,” said Kat Patrice, a sophomore at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). “College is expensive already and it wouldn’t make more sense to pay for the SAT and ACT. [Get a] tutor and get academic help.”
“Students go there and work really hard to get into those schools, but the parents of these kids bought off their admission and they didn’t have to work for it,” said Carmen, another student at CSUMB.
Students across the country are expressing their outrage at the elite schools. They have already filed lawsuits at the colleges that were involved in the briberies, declaring they were denied a fair shot at admissions. They argue that applicants who followed all the regulations were exploited by wealthy and famous parents. The most noticeable lawsuit comes from a former California teacher who is planning on suing for $500 billion because her son who had a high GPA was not given an equal opportunity to gain admission to colleges. She plans to target the parents and coaches involved in the scandal, and not the colleges itself.