Nearly 50 people nationwide have been charged with conspiracy to mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as a result of their participation in a college entrance exam cheating scheme. Among those charged are actors Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House), and Loughlin’s husband, Mossimo Giannulli. The scheme consisted on hiring individuals to proctor and doctor SAT and ACT exams, and “in some cases by posing as the actual students, and in others by providing students with answers during the exams or by correcting their answers after they had completed the exams.”
According to the report, “Huffman paid $15,000 to doctor the college entrance exam for her oldest daughter…Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as recruits for the crew team, despite the fact that the children weren’t on a crew team.” Some parents and coaches conspired to “recruit” students who do not play sports into university teams in order to ease the admissions process. In total, 33 parents are charged with participating in this conspiracy, and I can’t help but feel frustrated.
I have seen my senior students this year, all of which come from low-income families, invest time and energy into studying for their SAT and ACT tests, spend countless hours writing and revising personal essays, while they anxiously await college admission results. We now come to find that the rich can simply pay their way into prestigious universities, and their children rob admission placements and opportunities from students like mine, who invest the time and energy to honestly get admitted into the University of their dream. Granted that these cases were uncovered early on, I can’t help but imagine the fact that close to 60 undeserving, wealthy children were on their way to universities, while my kids bust their behinds to actually develop their academic identities.
I am happy that these families are under investigation, and we must continue to monitor the privilege that the wealthy enjoy in our society. They may be able to buy their way into spots that underserved students work for and deserve, but the fact that they can buy their way in doesn’t mean that we should allow them to do so. Let’s keep this conversation going, and assure ourselves that we are doing everything in our power to impede and cause discomfort to the detached, wealthy sector of our society. After all, these are our children, and we should defend our legacy.
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