Aunt Becky paying more than just school fees


Katie Dysert and Zachary Russo

Many families view being accepted into college as an important achievement, and some parents even go as far as to push their children to attend Ivy League schools such as Harvard or Yale. High school is stressful in itself, but adding standardized tests, sports, and college applications make it overwhelming. Many parents are willing to do whatever they can to ease their child’s stress, but how far would they go?

Recently it has been revealed that fifty individuals are facing charges related to a college admissions scam including two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine college coaches, one college administrator, and thirty-three parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. William Singer, a college counselor in California, seems to be at the center of it all. The scheme essentially had two parts: cheat on standardized tests and bribe the admissions staff.

According to the United States Department of Justice’s website, Singer’s clients were instructed to get their child extended test time then change the location of their their to one of two specific test sites: a public high school in Houston or a private college prep school in West Hollywood, California. Singer had pre-established relationships with test administrators at both test centers and was able to bribe them with up to $10,000 to turn a blind eye to the scheme. Additionally, the parents involved would pay Singer around $25 million to bribe college administrators and coaches to admit their children as athletic recruits.

While some sources say the children had no idea the lengths at which their parents were going, their reputations are now forever tarnished because of their parents’ actions. It’s getting to the point in the year when the blood, sweat, and tears seniors have put into college applications and essays are paying off as they receive their acceptance letters. We were curious as to what our high school peers thought of this scheme. When asked for her opinion, senior Kat Roman replied:

“I think it’s outrageous that these people feel like they can just pay their way into ivy league colleges because their kids couldn’t get into them. I’ve worked really hard to get into the colleges that I’ve gotten into, and it feels like all of my hard work isn’t worth all of the effort and studying I put into getting into them.”

Anyone that has attended college – whether they’ve graduated, dropped out, or are currently enrolled – remembers the stressful, time consuming journey to getting accepted. Especially for elite schools, it takes years of focus and dedication to get the grades, the scores, and sometimes the athletic scholarships needed to get accepted. Out of the millions of students applying for college every year, the children involved in this scheme were able to rise above their peers solely because their parents had the ability and desire to pay their way into their school of choice. Is that fair?