The College Admissions Scandal is Disappointing and Unfair to Students Across the Nation

Julia Labadie

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Being admitted into your dream school should be based on your accomplishments, grades, and passion. True passion for a school and your own future is extremely underrated at universities.

Imagine opening a crisp letter from your dream college. Imagine how your heart will start pacing, sweat from your anxious fingers will start sinking into the envelope. A million thoughts transport through your brain: did you get accepted? Now, imagine the aching feeling when you get declined, the disappointment. In another town, there are two girls who have been accepted, who are feeling the pure joy and excitement for their future fall. The only thing is, their acceptance has been unfairly provided and is a result of university officials accepting bribe money from parents.

“It’s a ridiculous example of how the system is not set up on a level playing field,” said government teacher Jay Peterson.

Former actress and wife of fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, Lori Loughlin, plead not guilty in the college admissions bribery scam. The husband and wife have been accused of paying William Singer $500 thousand to get both of their daughters, Olivia and Isabella, admitted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits of a sport neither had ever participated in, rowing. According to the CBS News, nearly 50 other people have been charged in relation to this case.

“At first I was shocked, but once I found out how many people were actually involved, I was really disappointed and I know that if it was me, I would be embarrassed,” said senior Josh McKissic.

If true, this bribe is unfair towards every student that has been declined a spot at USC academically or athletically. Thousands of kids spend countless hours in the classroom and at home working towards their goal. Moreover, it’s unfair to every declined candidate for any school around the country. The Giannulli sisters may have been worthy of a spot at the school; however, the fact that their parents paid for special treatment and bribes to get them admitted has completely taken away from any honor given to them.

“It’s not fair because by doing this, it’s taking away the chance from hardworking, middle-class people who have trouble affording school,” said senior Lillia Bistrek.

According to an Edward Jones survey, 88% of Americans claim they cannot afford the expense that is college. Every day, families are struggling to send their hardworking and dedicated children to college, meanwhile, the families with power and money buy their children’s way into college. Luckily for Loy Norrix, many other kids and I don’t have to worry as much about the financial burden. We are blessed to have the Kalamazoo Promise and this scandal helps with the realization that other children don’t.

“These wealthy adults need to have their kids earn a good SAT score the correct way, through hard work,” said junior Jacob Vanhorne.

My respect for the admissions department has been lost and their intentions for the university have been questioned. One of the daughters, Olivia Jade, is an influencer and has a popular Youtube channel. She has publicly toured her dorm room, shown college parties, and has turned the USC daily life into a brand for entertainment, sponsored by Amazon. I believe this is simply for Olivia’s own personal gain and that she doesn’t really appreciate her academic opportunity.  

“I think it’s kind of sad, and I know people looked up to her. I think it’s hard to not have a different perspective about her now,” said senior Hannah Sherman.

According to USA Today, both the daughters are still enrolled at USC and are undergoing investigation. They are being reviewed along with many other students that may be connected to the bribery scheme.

“This is a clear example of how society has allowed those with privilege to be able to buy their way through social class because they think they’re entitled. How ironic that American society has always blamed the underdog for wanting assistance due to lack of opportunity and in many cases have denied it,” said law and government teacher Niambi Pringle.