By Alexa D’Aiello
A college acceptance is seen as one of the most significant milestones for young people across the U.S., but as instances of bribery among the country’s most elite continue to surface, it is easy to question the admissions process for its lack of equity.
Two household names that are involved in this case include Lori Loughlin, better known as Aunt Becky from “Full House,” and Felicity Jones from Desperate Housewives. These celebrities were exposed for paying large sums of money to admissions officers in exchange for their children’s acceptance into competitive institutions.
This scandal reminds us that celebrities need act as better role models and that adults in general have failed to set the example that their own hard work and honesty will lead to success. If standardized test scores can be bought, why would students bother studying for them?
If the bribery of admissions officials wasn’t enough, some SAT and ACT scores were enhanced to make students more likely to get accepted into top- name schools. These schools include the University of Southern California, Georgetown University as well as several other big name universities.
Applying for college is a process that the majority of high schoolers have to go through individually, with only some parental guidance if they are lucky. For many, a college acceptance is a right of passage that involves hard work and academic commitment. If acceptances were solely based on socioeconomic status, many of today’s top scholars might have never been given the chance to succeed. College acceptances should be earned through the competitive grades and work ethic that a student demonstrates, and not from a check that is written by their celebrity parents.
If admissions officials can be bribed, the whole purpose of the application pro- cess has been defeated. When a school’s admissions board can be won over with large sums of money, there is no point to even having this board in the first place and many students who deserve accep- tance fall through the cracks.
This special treatment must not go unpunished — it puts poor students at a great disadvantage and destroys the fairness, objectiveness and professionalism of the application process. Despite their celebrity status, the individuals involved in this scandal must face ample punishment for their bribery and cheating.
As these cases begin to go to trial, I can only hope that their sentencing is harsh enough to ensure that future parents are deterred from this bribery and that another large scandal does not surface. A strong punishment is crucial in maintaining the integrity and fairness of the college application process.
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“What is your reaction to the college admissions scandal?”