As collegiate scandal rocks the nation, questions are being asked about whether college admissions have ever really been as transparent as they ought to be


Nathaniel Brown, Associate Editor

A recent college admissions scandal has taken our nation by storm. In case you’ve been “living under a rock” (to use one of our culture’s favorite passive-aggressive exclusionary phrases), here’s a quick recap: a guy named William Singer subtly–and sometimes not so subtly–advertised his services as virtually guaranteeing college admission. That is, if you’re willing to pay. His “college counseling service,” the Key, seemed legit, complete with a modern website. He even had a YouTube channel, where he advised youth on rather Machiavellian techniques to stay ahead in–and get into–college. Why is this story so newsworthy? Well, some of the parents implicated in the scandal are big stars, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Singer’s process was quite disturbing. He bribed psychologists to affirm that students were disabled when, in fact, they were not, in order to get them special help on the SAT and ACT. He then bribed the proctors to manipulate their answers after the students took the test. Could you imagine if you took the SAT and thought you made an amazing score, when in fact your parents simply illegally paid a guy to get it for you? Additionally, Singer bribed college coaches to accept students to college via sports participation; this is how many *ahem* otherwise academically unqualified students got accepted into top-notch colleges.

Keep in mind that this service wasn’t cheap. Parents paid up to $500,000 to get their kids into college–I don’t see money like that lying around my house! Many articles have been run analyzing the cultural implications of this scandal; many newspapers’ critiques are valid. Why is there such a high correlation between wealth and college admissions in the United States? Why do unqualified wealthy students get accepted into prominent colleges, whereas hardworking and intelligent low-to-middle income students are too-often rejected? These are certainly questions that need asking. Before, you might’ve been called a “kook” if you questioned whether admissions processes are genuine, but now you’d be in the mainstream.

I highly encourage you to learn more. Here’s a list of individuals and colleges implicated in the scandal. If you’re like me, your parents aren’t gonna shill out for a Yale education; study and hard work are the only way to know you’ve genuinely been accepted based on merit. Keep in mind that most celebrities and the vast majority of colleges were not implicated in these scandals–but still, the cultural ramifications are heavy. As they say on Chuy’s kid’s menus: “Be cool, stay in school,” to which I might add, “Don’t let Mommy bribe Yale, or federal prosecutions will rain down like hail.”


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