In mid-March, colleges across the United States were swept up in a scandal that threatened academia’s integrity. The New York Times revealed several wealthy families were paying millions of dollars to get their kids into select schools. The scandal spanned beyond typical high-profile college donations.
Instead, they were paying millions for fake college entrance scores and fake credentials to earn spots on college sports teams. The logic was that as long as their students were on a sports team, the college had to accept them. Several ‘college admission consulting’ firms were working on behalf of families to get their children in.
The most scandalous part of the whole story was that the whole system was business as usual. Anybody with enough money seems to be able to buy their way into college, regardless of merit or ability.
The revelation’s fallout is still impacting colleges today. Keep reading below to learn how the scandal may impact you or your college.
Regular Students Must Go Through Extra Steps
The college bribery scandal revealed that the rich truly do have a system all to their own, which makes their lives infinitely easier. Whereas regular students must submit and deliver mountains of paperwork, wealthy families merely needed to arrange a meeting with a firm. Then, the firm would arrange everything from college entrance exams to relevant experiences.
Regular students must usually send essays and exams through the mail, themselves. They had to pay for everything themselves, and research details about the cost of mailing applications while paying for everything.
Most of them tried to impress admissions officials and were sure they would get in. Yet, nothing they can do will ever beat the way money talks.
It’s a tense and nervewracking process, throughout which people wonder if they may have a future. Yet, for the rich, they could walk right through the doors of an Ivy League school without worry.
The System Is Rigged For The Rich
The scandal established that there is a legitimate system working to differentiate the opportunities available to upper and lower classes. College is a time when people decide what they want to do and who they want to be. And people can only make those decisions based on the possibilities they see for themselves.
If a person doesn’t think it’s possible for them to be successful in politics or business, they won’t pursue it. It doesn’t matter if they have a natural talent for business or have demonstrated a strong capacity for politics. If they never have the chance to capitalize on those abilities, they’ll never pursue it.
College is when people find out who they are and who they can be. If the upper and lower classes have different arenas to do that in, then they will always be unequal. Keep reading below to learn why.
Connections Are Made In Colleges
Beyond simply providing an education, a person’s time in college is a time to make connections. It’s when students can meet other people and forge the relationships they’ll need to advance their careers. In a perfect world, these relationships would form based on each person’s character and merit.
Yet, in modern academia, those relationships are evidently created out of wealth alone.
When the wealthy only mingle with the wealthy, then they will always be the only ones with the connections needed to enter politics or businesses. The scandal revealed that good connections come at a cost, despite the assumption that everyone should have equal opportunities.
Pay To Play Includes Research And Nonprofits
Many students end up realizing they want to be a researcher during college, after studying with scientists. Yet, when some colleges only accept the wealthy, the kinds of research available to students become tainted with money.
It’s commonplace for researchers to take sponsors from a variety of sources. It’s a point of controversy in the research community if these sponsors may compromise the integrity of what they do. When colleges only take students from wealthier families, their integrity is absolutely compromised.
Colleges may limit the kinds of research students can do, based on who donates to it. Donors to the college may also try to sway the way research is done to benefit their businesses. When colleges so willingly entangle themselves in bribery scandals, their research is affected.
College Entrance Exams Are Being Faked
The scandal revealed that college entrance consulting firms are doing more than just consulting. They would actively edit student’s entrance tests to ensure they earned high marks. The firms would organize students to take tests with proctors who would change answers or edit essays.
Although these practices are downright illegal, there are more legal ways of getting kids into Ivy League colleges. Sometimes, firms would fake a student’s athletic reputation to boost their chances of getting onto college teams. They would also contact coaches to influence their decisions, often by bribing them.
Although none of the firms’ practices would absolutely guarantee a student’s acceptance, it would unfairly sway the odds in their favor. And the firms would do anything to improve a student’s odds of getting in.
Everyone Wants The Best For Their Children
It’s true that everybody wants the best for their children. Most families would do anything to give their children the best opportunities in life. People just want what’s best for their children, and families have different levels of resources to give them it.
Yet, it crosses a line when wealthy families take spots in colleges from students in lower classes. It’s different when colleges accept students based on their wealth rather than their merit. Just because someone wants the best for their children doesn’t mean they can’t be held accountable for their actions.
More people are being named as part of the scandal, and they are all facing ridicule in the public eye. Yet, they’ve dealt with ridicule before, after spending so much time in the public eye. Their cases are making their way through the courts while they continue their lives, out of prison.
The biggest revelation of the scandal is that there isn’t a way to hold the wealthy accountable for their actions.
The Rich Are Ridding The Rest Of Opportunity
When a person earns a college degree, they earn the opportunity to compete in a variety of ways. They get to compete in the labor market with their unique skill set. They get to compete in politics by developing unique perspectives on policies. And most of all, they get to compete in society generally through a refined character.
If those opportunities aren’t available to someone based solely on their level of income, then something is desperately wrong. University is expensive and college entrance exams are hard, but they should also be worth it. Yet, scandals like these rob it of its value.
To keep learning about the scandal, and how you can get involved to prevent future ones, keep reading here. We stay at the forefront of business and news to keep you informed about the world.