College Admissions Scandle

, Reporter


The recent college admissions scandal, if nothing else, marks the absolute injustice present in the American education system. It also highlights the irresponsibility that falls on admissions officers and others involved in this situation. The scandal began to unfold on March 12, when federal prosecutors arrested 33 parents who are accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to help their children get into some of the most prestigious colleges in the country. Several parents are high-profile figures, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giuliani.

At the core of this scheme is William Singer, a consultant who had worked as a college counselor for nearly 30 years. He constructed an entire effort to bribe coaches and test proctors to fabricate student’s qualifications and transcripts. He did this in order to help wealthy families secure places for their children at prestigious schools, where he boasted about his “side door” plot.

Singer theorized that college admissions used two major procedures. “Front door” methods entail law-abiding students applying to a university and hoping for the best, while “back door” applicants relied on their family to make significant donations to the university of choice in order to increase their chances of getting in. The simple yet sinister “side door” plan combined “back door” contributions with faked athletic documents and inflated test scores. The “side door” process carried a guarantee, something the other two methods couldn’t.

Until federal agents caught wind of the operation earlier this year, Singer continuously recruited other academic coaches to carry out the “side door” plan and convinced parents that this was standard admissions procedure. When asked about the negative consequences of lying about test scores, Singer reassured a concerned parent that he had “…never seen it happen.”

Singer’s scheme is a prime example of classism in American society. It reinforces the idea that you don’t have to be qualified or entitled for an opportunity in order to receive it; rather, with enough funds and manipulation, anybody can secure a slot few actually deserve.

Similar to bail – a system in which you can pay to get out of jail with only a potential financial penalty – the college admissions scandal, like so many plots before it, prioritizes money and power over people and their genuine efforts. Any establishment that can be disrupted with enough funding deserves to be disrupted, stripped down to its core, and rebuilt.

The scandal, above all, reveals a deeply flawed education system, one in which Asian-American students were rejected from Harvard on the unfair basis of being held to higher standards in comparison to other applicants; one where a school in Louisiana falsified the transcripts of hundreds of black students to essentially sell to Ivy League universities that were desperate for diversity; one where seemingly enviable American schools are shown to be exploitable, greedy, and broken.