As May 1, College Decision Day, approaches, thousands of students across the nation routinely check their mailboxes awaiting acceptance letters from their dream college or university. Each of those students has worked tirelessly perfecting their essays, raising their GPA, participating in extracurricular activities—or so it was thought.
Last Tuesday federal authorities charged over 50 people—including Full House actress Lori Loughlin and Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman—with taking part in what the Justice Department called the largest ever college admissions prosecution.
According to federal indictments, William “Rick” Singer ran a college counseling business through which he helped get students into top universities—sometimes by bribing officials and falsifying application materials. The parents implicated in the scam, at least according to the indictment, had enough money to pay Singer five or six figures to get their kids into college.
“The fact that parents are buying their kids in and those kids are taking up slots that you guys can get is a horrible thing. What if those kids don’t know their parents did that and then they find out?” said Mr. Moffi, teacher at MLEC. “It further shows that if you have money you can get anything you want and it’s not fair because most of us don’t have money. It undermines public education.”
Parents of high school students allegedly paid a total of about $25 million to get their children admitted to various colleges and universities.
Colleges and universities impacted include Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Boston University, Northeastern, UCLA, USC, University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest, among others.
“America is made up of a lot of minority students and there are a lot of minority students that are in need of funding for college, so I just think it’s unfortunate that colleges are letting that happen,” said Ms. Gobert, MLEC’s CAP advisor. “There are students that work really hard, have a lot of loans, just trying to make ends meet, so it’s good that this injustice is being exposed.”
Multiple coaches have been fired or placed on administrative leave as a result of the scandal.
Singer has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, tax conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He faces up to 65 years in jail and a $1.25 million fine.
But it remains to be seen what will happen to the students. According to the criminal affidavit, some of the students were aware of the cheating, but others had no idea.
“Sometimes those kids don’t even want to go to college, but their parents decide to pay their way in, taking a spot away from someone who has been working hard their entire life,” said Stephanie Hernandez, a senior at MLEC.
USC announced that six student applicants in the current admissions cycle would be denied admission to USC as a result of the admissions scandal. USC also noted that any funds received in connection with the admissions scandal will be used to fund scholarships for underprivileged students.
“It’s disgusting how they are robbing spots from people who are actually working hard. There are students whose families are barely making ends meet and they have to work super hard their entire life to get into a good college only to have their spot robbed by someone who paid their way in,” said Brandon Orozco, a senior at MLEC.
Source:: The Harbinger