College cheating scandal continues

Samuel Ogali, Courier Staff

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On March 12, 50 people were charged in a $25 million college cheating scheme; this scheme primarily involved wealthy parents illegally taking measures to secure their children’s admission into elite universities like the University of Southern California and Yale.

These measures included changing SAT and ACT scores to even photoshopping images of their children on sports teams for admission. But this entire scandal became even more high profile when it was revealed that actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were also involved in the scandal. Huffman was known for being on “Desperate Housewives” and Loughlin is known by many people as aunt Becky from “Full House.” Celebrities actually cheating the system and buying a spot for their children to elite universities was not only wrong but irreprehensible.

Society has always driven this montra that in order to be successful you have to work nonstop, dedicate yourself to your craft and also be willing to make sacrifices in the process, but this scandal only bridges that belief, especially for young, low-income students from backgrounds who struggle the most. Loughlin and Huffman have become the poster faces for everything that is wrong with money, fame, privilege and nepotism. Those spots that were bought from these parents only blocked students who worked hard and studied, but because of their lack of resources they were not even given a chance.

Many of these parents spent sums of $15,000 to more that $1 million, and successfully did this by not drawing initial awareness into their transactions by funneling the money through charitable organizations. According to U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, “This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud.”

As a college student myself I can only imagine how the children must feel, especially the ones who had no idea, and because of their parents’ actions will have to face the brunt of this scandal. Loughlin’s own daughter, Olivia Jade, who is a YouTube personality in her own right has already had sponsorship brands sever ties with her because of this scandal, and both her and her sister Bella have not even returned to their classes, continuing to keep a low-profile.

Fortunately, many parents have come forward and have admitted what they did was wrong. Huffman was one of 13 parents who have plead guilty and even apologized for their actions. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” said Huffman. But many parents like Loughlin have still stayed silent and have not publicly expressed any remorse. Loughlin reportedly has not yet accepted a plea deal and has even reported to be in denial and in “panic mode” at the prospects of actually going to prison.

With negotiations underway with prosecutors, these parents may not face the lengthy prison sentence that a typical conspiracy and money laundering charge would entail, but the fact is they are definitely facing some prison time. This entire scandal is a pure lesson in society of how money, power and privilege can truly get you ahead in life, even if it means blocking disadvantaged people

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