When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, you expect the standard answers of a doctor, veterinarian, or a firefighter. But a particular aspect of our youngest generation is that they and their parents are very aware of what it takes to follow those aspirations. And for a majority of them, it involves getting into a good college. Ivy League colleges come with connections to help into future job offers or internships that would not be available anywhere else. So the majority of Americans take additional test prep to excel on SAT and ACT scores. They have extracurriculars or spend extra time on sports to help grow in their craft. But some parents wanted these opportunities for their children regardless of their grades or sports prowess and were willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to see their children in a prestigious school. That’s right; we’re talking about the college admission scandal.
Here are four things you should know about the college admission scandal:
Southern California businessman, William “Rick” Singer, ran two very different businesses.
One was a for-profit business that gave college counseling called Edge College & Career Network. He also ran a charity called the Key Worldwide Foundation. Both of these businesses were needed to pull off the crime. The company would take payments from parents and use them to pay for better scores for their children. This would be done by either having a person take the test for them or to change their answers after they had taken the test. For example, one student would average a test score of 22 on all practice tests but then would get a 32 on the actual test because of this process. The charity was used to bribe and pay out college administrators and coaches into accepting students as a college athlete when they had no previous athletic experience in the sport that they were said to play.
Over 50 parents were indited in this scandal.
Two of the most famous were actress Felicity Hoffman of Desperate Housewife fame and actress Lori Laughlin of Full House fame. Hoffman has pleaded guilty to the charges with this statement “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.” Laughlin with her husband has pleaded not guilty against the charges.
The Laughlin case has a few particular circumstances.
Laughlin’s youngest daughter has gained Youtube fame and has over 1 million followers before the breaking of this news. She has said on her videos that she wanted an average college experience where she went to parties and game days and that she isn’t really all that interested in school. Both of Laughlin’s daughters were accepted to USC as part of the women’s crew team. They had no previous experience and quit the team before their season began. A poster has recently circulated the USC campus that said that the crew team does accept individuals who have no prior experience. That could be used as a defense in Laughlin’s case, but we will have to wait and see how they chose to use this information.
There is much talk about the consequences to these actions and who should hold the brunt of the punishment.
Parents that have confessed to being part of this scandal have stated that their children did not know about what was happening. Many students have said they had no idea. While some speculate that they should, parents would have their children show up at an orientation for a sport that they had never played before. They would take practice tests but then score significantly higher on the official test. Some schools have rescinded offers while others have allowed the students to stay.