OP/ED: School Admission Privilege is a Legitimate Concern

We’ve only reached the third month of 2019, and yet scandal has found a way to make itself exceedingly known. On what was a highly trafficked day on social media, March 12 was one where a topic that has been swept under the rug was exposed to the public eye.

Apparently, you can now bribe your way into college. Oh no, not you. Just the elite.

United States federal prosecutors have charged 50 individuals in the indictment, according to NBC News.

The scam recognizes high profile people that seemingly used their career positions and income as a way to ensure multiple teens gained acceptance into eight elite universities, regardless of their abilities. The exclusive schools highlighted are Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA, USC, University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, and University of San Diego. 

Among the indicted are CEOs, Hollywood actors, standardized test administrators, and coaches, according to court documents obtained by CNN. It has been stated that the 50 charged, put forward between $200,000 and $6.5 million towards their children’s fraudulent education. 

CEO of a “for profit” Newport Beach college admissions company, William “Rick” Singer, is the center of the scandal in which wealthy parents are accused of paying to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and falsify their athletic records, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As usual, the defendants are silent, along with their children. Actress Lori Loughlin, and her daughter Olivia Jade, seem to be capturing the largest criticisms on social media. Olivia, who is known for her beauty and lifestyle videos on YouTube, posted a one that stated she only wished to go to college to experience the typical dorm life and go to parties. She clearly expressed how learning, and pursuing a degree was the least of her worries.

This fairly illegal and unethical act has only proven how even with generational wealth and familial assets, celebrities still seem to wish for more. Why do wealthy individuals like Olivia, still want to pursue what is a life-changing experience for only average people? 

A person who is already in a position where they are guaranteed a high income, and has Hollywood connections, is simply one who can live without a degree. Isn’t the whole point of working towards a degree, to ensure a livable income? Someone of such high privilege should not be chosen over a low-income or first-generation student, that is putting debt on the line for a life-changing degree.

Those who are forced into positions as breadwinners, and have to work three jobs to afford an education should not be forgotten.

Those who are immigrants, and wish for a chance to become a doctor or CEO, should not be forgotten.

Those who live in violence-ridden communities and want better for their family, should not be forgotten.

But they do get pushed away and forgotten. The sad reality is, you can slide your way in or out of any situation, and most likely get away with it by signing a check.

Even in the cases where minorities, like Black and Latinx people, are granted acceptance into elite universities, they will commonly get criticized by those who use the excuse of admittance by “affirmative action.” Honestly, isn’t it pretty quite obvious that the ones who say that are the most guilty? Why don’t people use that same connotation towards the wealthy who are the actual ones who steal others’ spots?

The actuality is that rich people refuse to succeed by playing by the rules. The costs that go into SAT tutoring, after-school programs, sports affiliations, and application fees, are no more than chump change for them. If their actual goal was to have their children intelligent and educated, they would have allowed them to go through the same process most of America goes through.

The necessity for community colleges is also a huge aspect of this issue. Without their existence, who knows how many individuals would have never gotten the opportunity to start a college education. These people can’t pay their way in. They have to work hard by their own merit. People need to stop being afraid of recognizing the income segregation that has always existed. But of course, they won’t care until it affects them personally.