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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Opinion college admissions: scandal in the eyes of college students

Lori Loughlin,famously known for playing Becky on the hit TV show Full House, is one of multiple A-listers to be caught up in a college admissions scandal that is currently being investigated by the FBI.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Loughlin specifically is being investigated for allegedly agreeing to pay $500,000 bribes with the goal of getting both of her daughters recruited onto the University of Southern California rowing team. Alarmingly, neither of the daughters even rows.

According to a witness, the youngest daughter’s crew profile would inaccurately show Loughlin’s daughter as a coxswain apart of the L.A. Marina Club team. To display an “action picture”, they submitted a picture of the younger daughter on an indoor rowing machine.

Lori Loughlin with Daughter Olivia
Lori Loughlin (right) posing with eldest daughter Olivia Giannulli (left) (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

As outrageous as this story sounds, there are at least 47 other known individuals being investigated for similar forms of bribery and fraud. Some of the other well known individuals being investigated include Felicity Huffman ( actress in “Desperate Housewives”) and Rick Singer who owns a Newport Beach college admissions company.

Singer’s company has been identified as the center of the scandal as they have been paid to facilitate cheating on their clients’ college entrance exams and helping gain admission to prestigious schools through the athletics route regardless of whether the students were really athletes or not.

William 'Rick' Singer, owner of Newport Beach college admissions company at the center of scandal (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

According to the Los Angeles Times, elite schools such as UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale, and Georgetown have been some of the schools involved in the scandal.

Jacq Banal, FC business major stated that students should be judged on their potential and academic achievement and that money should not be a factor in the admissions process.

“It’s super unfair and sad to think that some people who were more deserving or really needed it lost their spot because of people who feel like they can cheat the system”, Babal said.

Banal added how it’s sad to think wealthy people feel as if they should be allowed a different college admissions process.

As a student aiming for admission at UCLA and USC, hearing that wealthy students have been able to pay their way into being admitted is extremely disheartening.

Students work their whole life to get into elite schools and this hits the tip of the iceberg in terms of the advantage the wealthy have when it comes to education. Beyond K-12 education advantages, many of the wealthy have access to resources which make the college admissions process smoother.

USC statue of Trojan mascot (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

For example, there are centers for SAT preparation tutoring that help students reach the top percentile. Most of these centers charge students in package deals. Specifically, Veritas Prep features, “SAT packages start at $499”. This kind of service cannot be afforded by lower income families let alone most middle class families.

Other services often used include private academic advisors, who lead students through the whole process starting as early as middle school, urging them to receive certain grades and participate in certain activities in order to get them into the most elite of schools. Furthermore, athletes can have private lessons, club sports teams, and help with recruitment that lower income students would not be able to afford.

Beyond the law breaking involved in this scandal, the wealthy already have an unfair advantage when it comes to higher education admission. Even past admissions, tuition at just about any university in the country right now is unreasonably high for middle and lower income families without years of debt to pay off.

In the past this was legitimate because the jobs you could receive with a degree would be worth the cost. In today’s world, the majority of jobs that offer an income one can barely survive and support a family on require higher education.

The fact that the wealthy have been able to buy their way into college is extremely upsetting. Middle and lower class students not only struggle with being accepted into schools, but being able to pay for a college education is extremely difficult. Upon acceptance, most students are stressed about the large amount of debt they have at such a young age.

The breaking of this scandal investigation displays only the illegal advantages that the wealthy have when it comes to higher education.

Students are now suing with one parent suing for 5 billion dollars because their student did not get in to the schools that are involved in this scandal. Although I myself would not take my frustrations of this event to that extent, I can understand how students who were more qualified for acceptance would take this opportunity to sue.

Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Giannulli is a popular Youtuber and since the scandal has lost major deals with brands such as Sephora.

In my opinion, this is warranted considering that no brand would ever want one of their representatives to have such a terrible reputation. However, I don’t think jail is necessarily the best form of punishment for parents who committed these crimes.

I would much rather see them be sued for extremely large amounts of money, and then have that money go in to reforming the system of college acceptance inequality or into nonprofit organizations that help low income students achieve higher levels of education.

Sending these people to jail would not have much of an impact considering that most wealthy can pay bail fairly easily. Suing them and taking their money to counteract some of the classist inequality would be much more impactful and help many students who get in to top universities based on their own hard work and merit.