Last week on Tuesday, numerous famous and wealthy parents across the United States, including household names like Lori Loughlin, who many know as “Aunt Becky” from the show “Full House,” were charged with scheming to get their children admitted into major prestigious universities. Some of the universities accused are USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, and Georgetown just to name a few. It was a major cheating and bribery scheme that involved not only the famous parents, but as well as coaches at the universities and college entrance exam administrators that were paid by a test prep business in Newport Beach, California called “The Key.” It was created by William Rick Singer, the well-known founder of The Key that organized the scheme from 2011-2018, and the circumstances by which it was coordinated even kept the students of the parents in the dark.
According to the Washington Post, only one percent of the nation’s students that apply the most elite private schools are accepted, while over two million high school graduates apply to college each year. That means that only 20,000 students nationwide are accepted; on top of that, these students are the most intellectually sound students in America. They take the most rigorous classes on campus such as AP and IB, partake in extracurricular activities outside of school, and are active in their communities or in different sports that make them the elite students that highly ranked colleges and universities want on their campus. So, the question remains: how are the children of rich, entitled people who have no particular talents, have worse grades, and are not involved in any kind of sport or extracurricular activity, accepted into these universities before the elite students mentioned before?
“I don’t think it’s right,” says Tyler Ramil, a senior with a 4.0 GPA here at Rancho Mirage High School. “How could a student be accepted into a school just because their parents make more money than a student whose parents don’t make as much?” Tyler takes 5 AP classes, is an outstanding athlete on the tennis courts and was an all-league wide receiver for the Rattlers football team. He feels that he deserves a better chance to get into the top schools that he has worked tirelessly for, but he knows “that might not ever happen because of the circumstances that I’m in.”
Another student who feels similarly is Angels Arias (11). “I’m in AVID, I take many different AP classes, and I even do things outside of school all for one purpose. That purpose is to get into the best colleges. That’s tainted, however, if kids are literally bribed into these schools because their mom is a Hollywood actor and their dad owns some fashion company.”
Students (and teachers alike) understand that this unfair treatment of students across the nation needs to stop. The offenders are facing serious jail time, and the universities have opened up their admissions once again to any students who might have previously been denied because of this scandal. “Hopefully these colleges understand that kids’ dreams are on the line, and they should not be taken for granted,” Arias says.