For high school students, college applications are a time of stress, anxiety, breaking the bank and now breaking the law.
Well, breaking the law for rich kids from celebrity families. According to NBC News, 50 people have been indicted to the $25 million dollar college admission scandal, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, otherwise known as Aunt Becky in “Full House.”
Peter William Singer is said to be the mastermind behind the scheme. He operated a for-profit college counseling and preparation business that would have others take the student’s SAT or ACT. Singer and his co-conspirators would use stock photos of someone playing a sport and then photoshop the student’s face onto the photo, according to CNN.
It is said that Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, a fashion designer, paid a total of $500,000 to boost their two daughters’ chances of getting into the University of Southern California, according to NBC News.
When universities across America tout academic honesty among their students, this college admissions scandal is a clear outlier. We asked students at the University of Georgia what they thought about the whole ordeal.
I understand parents would want better for their child, so I get why they did it, but I don’t agree with it. There’s a lot of people out there who can’t afford to go to college, and that’s not necessarily their problem, but I feel like [cheating college admissions] lowers the chances of them getting in when you pay for your child to get into college. And I think also that affects the child because they didn’t really get to try to get into college. It doesn’t build a certain rigor academically, so when they get to college they don’t do as well as they did in high school.
Janeal Jackson is a first year master’s student in food science.
Hearing about it at first, I really was dumbfounded that these famous people, that so many people look up to, are taking advantage of their money to get their kids into these school. Especially speaking from experience, I worked so hard to get into a good college — not necessarily having the most amount of money to get access to those elite schools. It’s upsetting to have these people who don’t really appreciate it, like anyone else would if they didn’t have as much money. And growing up even watching “Full House” with [Lori Loughlin] and being like oh my gosh you’re so cool, Aunt Becky!” and seeing her in the middle of this, I was honestly just very shocked that it would be related to them — and seeing that there hasn’t been a lot of feedback coming from them. I haven’t really heard them make any statements, so I’m confused on if they feel guilty about it or if they’re just, like, “oh it happened and now we’re in trouble.” Honestly just a little confused about it overall.
Hanna Harrison is a junior human development and family science major.
I feel like I should be more shocked than I really am, but, honestly, this doesn’t surprise me. I feel like this is a more extreme version of what happens every day because, let’s be honest, if you are someone who was born into a wealthy family or was not born into a minority group like being gay, a person of color or disabled, you’re going to have more avenues and paths open up to you in life. I don’t think that should be a controversial statement. I feel like this is just an example of that taken to its most extreme form, almost to the point where we’re living in a satire right now.
With one of the kids they did it for, she just straight up said “I don’t really care about college,” I just wanted to go to parties and college and football games and get drunk. And it stings because there are so many people who had to work hard to get into college and some of those people couldn’t get into college because you took their place. And you don’t even appreciate how lucky some people are to have this experience.
I think the reaction to social media has been very appropriate and clever, especially that William H. Macy, the guy most famous for saying that screw up criminal mastermind in Fargo, has been caught for a crime that his character would have been caught committing. There’s just a beautiful sense of irony in that.
Harrison Taylor is a senior entertainment media studies major.
So my emotional raw response is that it’s so egregious. It’s just awful! It makes so many people in this country, especially the people I know, hate the top three percent, and this is further fueling that hatred. It’s just so bad. We already know you get what you want, and now there’s this. It’s tough for me to stomach and process without being like sick hearing about it. It’s super funny on the one hand, so depressing on the other. And I actually played two years of college sports, and just the idea of sneaking some kid into a school by way of his being on the team even though he’s not good enough to be on the team. It’s insane. It’s totally crazy. It’s a slap in the face of people who work hard to get into these schools. And it also diminishes the credibility of these universities, because if you’re a USC students and you worked hard to get there. It’s a good school. And now, just because of these few people, your degree to some people is of less worth. It’s a disaster.
Cormac Dodd is a sophomore English major.
So I don’t really find that fair, especially coming from a minority, like myself. I remember back in high school, when I was applying to colleges, people saying how it was so easy for me to get in because of my race and because of my good grades and such, but really a lot of it is thanks to my hard work and getting to where I am now. To see that money can pay off and throw away all my experience and all my hard work and what I had done for the past 18 years is just really upsetting to hear. It’s terrible for me, it’s terrible for other people who have dreams, and it’s just really putting us all in bad situations. It’s not a problem of race, it’s really a problem of money now.
Gavin Hua is a junior entertainment media studies major.