Recently, one of the largest college cheating scandals in American history was unveiled, and who’s to blame?
From the years 2011 to 2019, it was revealed that a plethora of wealthy citizens had been paying for their kid’s spot at top schools around the nation. Through schemes, bribery and fraud, countless wealthy parents bought their kids a way into some of the most prestigious schools the US has to offer.
The scheme revolved around a nonprofit college counseling business that was called the Key Worldwide Foundation, headed by one William “Rick” Singer. The Key offered two ways to get your child into a top school. The first option was simple; for a price, you could pay to have your child’s SAT or ACT test scores altered, or get a person to cheat for you. In one example, that’s like having a score of a 1400 after getting only a 1000 on the PSAT. The other option was to work with (bribe) D1 coaches into recruiting the prospective student. The Key would also create a false athletic credentials for the student, and Photoshop pictures with the child in action. On average, Singer was paid about $25 million to help wealthy parents get their kids into college.
As a result of this case, 50 wealthy parents, actresses, college admission officials, and more were in deep water. Actresses Felicity Huffman, who contributed $15,000 to the Key, and Lori Loghlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, who contributed a total of $500,000, have been charged with various counts of fraud. Famous vineyard owner Agustin Huneeus Jr. was found to have bribed the water polo coach at his daughter’s dream school, and was brought up on charges of bribery and fraud. Other parents, including the CEOs of businesses, attorneys, and more of America’s wealthiest were all brought up on similar charges. In addition, kids that have been admitted to colleges are bound to be accused of crimes down the road. College coaches and administrators at Yale, USC, University of Texas, Stanford, Wake Forest and more have been arrested or take into court. The scheme is continuing to unfold as investigations with the FBI and NCAA deepen.
This case calls into question the sincerity of not only our education system, but our educational mindset. We are so set on getting into college that we’re forgetting our own morals and ethics. And to what end? Not only does this teach their children that money is always the answer in an already capitalist-ruled nation, but it also takes opportunities away from students that actually deserve it. The wealthy are abusing their power and, once again, making it harder for the rest of us.
There’s a historical cycle of wealthy corruption that began at the roots of this country, and still grows today. The elites continue to get what they want, and only in rare cases like this do we see justice. We need to acknowledge the problems within our socioeconomic hierarchy, and tackle them head-on if we ever expect to get out of this cycle.