Wealthy parents pay millions to cheat American education system

Recently, over 45 people were charged in relations to a college admissions scandal, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. Coaches and officials at the University of Southern California, Yale, Wake Forest, and Stanford are among those accused of taking bribes to facilitate the admission of unqualified students.

The mastermind behind this scandal is William “Rick” Singer, who created a “college counseling” company called The Key. U.S. attorney officials have charged Singer with accepting and paying out bribes. Buzzfeed News reports that Singer received $25 million over the course of his scandal, either for falsifying applications or bribing proctors to correct answers for students, and that he recorded this money as tax-deductible donations to his charity. According to Rolling Stone, Singer is cooperating with authorities and has taken responsibility for his actions.

Celebrities accused

Actress Lori Loughlin from “Full House” is one of the parents involved in the scandal. She and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of bribing the USC crew coach with $500,000 dollars in return for granting her two daughters admission. With the help of Singer, Loughlin and Giannulli had the faces of their daughters photoshopped on crew athletes, and their daughters were recruited for the USC rowing team.

In addition to legal ramifications, those involved also face financial consequences. According to news website “Consequence of Sound,” Loughlin has been fired from “Fuller House,” a Netflix original series reviving the original “Full House,” and she will not appear in the fifth season of “Fuller House.” Cosmetics company Sephora also terminated their partnership with Loughlin’s daughter, following multiple customer complaints.

Olivia Jade received public backlash after she published a video on YouTube of her saying that she wanted the experience of “game days and partying,” but “I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” Although Olivia Jade and other students may have a tarnished image after the scandal, the parents and college officials are the only ones who face criminal charges.

Teachers and students disgusted

Students and teachers were angered but not shocked by the revelations regarding parents cheating to get their children into college.

“It’s frustrating and sad for students who do work their rear ends off, that apply themselves and study harder than everyone else,” counselor Alison Graves said. “It’s nothing to be surprised of since it has obviously been going on for a while.”

Graves is concerned that students who are financially well off will have better chances of admission than students of low-income families, despite having lower grades and fewer qualifications.

“It’s an unfair advantage for students who actually work very hard and have the same, if not better, credentials, but because they might not be financially well off, they’re automatically at a disadvantage,” Graves said. “It is the opposite of equitable.”

Some students also question why parents are interfering so much in their children’s college application process.

“People are stupid to pay $500,000 to get their kid into college when [their kids] could just [work] hard in school and earn their way there,” senior Kayleigh Carpenter said.

Other teachers and students are simply outraged and want harsher consequences for those involved.

“Disgraceful! It completely undermines everyone and everything in the American school system,” English teacher Lee-Ann Mohr said. “I believe that the students who have either been accepted [and/or are] already in school or graduated should be expelled and be stripped of their degree.”