Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among 50 people who are facing charges after an FBI investigation brought massive rigging of admissions procedures
The nation is seeing the largest college admission scam that is being prosecuted by the department of justice. According to USA Today, March 12 was a day when stars including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among dozens of wealthy parents who were accused of essentially bribing, cheating, and lying to get their children into elite schools like Stanford University, the University of Southern California (USC), UCLA, Georgetown University, the University of San Diego, Wake Forest University, and Yale.
According to the reports, the massive scheme allegedly involved lying about sports involvement, paying for stand-ins for SAT and ACT exams, and even bribing test administrators to change scores.
Others charged include nine coaches at elite schools; two SAT/ACT administrators; an exam proctor; a college administrator; and a CEO who admitted he wanted to help the wealthiest families get their kids into elite colleges.
Critics of affirmative action policies claim that these give an unfair advantage to nonwhite students. But experts point to the many ways that access to higher education is already structured to benefit wealthy, white students. https://t.co/omM8kmCdl2— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) 13 March 2019
According to NewsOne, the bribery scandal just reminds the people of how white and wealthy get what they want by bending and breaking the rules to their liking. While such is not the case for black families, who have to face more than a few biases to get in the league. Moreover, this type of interference would only serve to create a larger disadvantage for black students.
“I don’t really care about school”: This video of Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade is going viral in the wake of the massive college admissions scandal https://t.co/2TmAlz9VTB pic.twitter.com/qcVLc5De3q— CBS News (@CBSNews) 13 March 2019
Teen Vogue's Jenn M. Jackson writes that "This college cheating scandal, defined by its rootedness in white privilege, brings forth questions about racial equality and what it means for some families to try and provide the best possible education for their children." At the same time, students attending private schools also tend to have an advantage over others.
Former Harvard University President @LHSummers tells me that the college admissions cheating scandal “connects with the broad sense that too many have in America, and they’re not entirely wrong, that elites are rigging the system for their own benefit.” pic.twitter.com/JuFShA0fmz— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) 13 March 2019
What does this mean for black and brown families who don't have the same kind of resources that the white elite have?
For poor and working-class families, especially those who are Black and Brown, public schools are often the only option for primary and secondary education.
“I’m not going to feel like I’m at a disadvantage compared to them because I know that I have character, I have values that they haven’t had to develop,” a 17-year-old said about wealthy parents using bribes to get their children into college https://t.co/qFy17tmnGe— The New York Times (@nytimes) 14 March 2019
Given that public schools tend to have lesser funding compared to private schools, the students attending those are left vulnerable. According to The Atlantic, high-poverty Black and Brown neighborhoods have less property ownership and fewer tax dollars to contribute to local schools, which leaves poorer, minority students vulnerable.
"As a former admissions dean at Yale Law School, I worry about...future talented college applicants from underprivileged backgrounds who may opt out of reaching for the most selective schools," @AshaRangappa_ says of the cheating scandal | via @CNNOpinion https://t.co/JEErRHp8b6— CNN (@CNN) 13 March 2019
The disparity when it comes to higher educations just becomes clearer with the revelation about the biggest college admission scam in the United States.
Reportedly, the whole scheme was orchestrated by William Rick Singer, CEO of a college admissions prep company called The Key. Singer pleaded guilty to four charges Tuesday and admitted that everything a prosecutor accused him of "is true."
Financiers and Silicon Valley big shots are featured prominently in the multi-million-dollar criminal college admissions scandal unsealed by prosecutors on Tuesday https://t.co/3bigc4sVKZ pic.twitter.com/SBd6AxS5Gl— Forbes (@Forbes) 13 March 2019
CNN reports that the payments made by these wealthy families were disguised as charitable contributions to Key Worldwide Foundation — a purported nonprofit that was actually "a front Singer used to launder the money that parents paid him," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said.
Some parents paid between $15,000 and $75,000 per test to help their children get a better score, prosecutors said. In some cases, parents allegedly took part in Singer's scheme to bribe college coaches and athletic officials.
Some parents in the college admissions scandal are accused of allegedly:— CNN (@CNN) 14 March 2019
- Staging photographs of their children participating in sports
- Paying people to take classes in their child's name
- Setting up "controlled" tests where a proctor coached answershttps://t.co/zrZZQ70zBK
Yale, Wake Forest, UCLA, USC, the University of Texas and Georgetown have released statements ranging from identifying themselves as victims of the alleged criminal schemes too in some cases announcing internal investigations and firings. Singer entered a guilty plea on Tuesday and his attorney told media his client was "very remorseful."
The college-admissions-scandal indictment is 269 pages long, and some of the details are truly astonishing. @amalykinz and @_natalieescobar read through them so you don't have to: https://t.co/F22iLaGUX5— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) 13 March 2019
One of the most baffling things about this case, of course, is just how easy it is for rich people to get into elite colleges without fraud.
The scheme had two major pieces. In the first part, parents allegedly paid a college prep organization to take the test on behalf of students or to correct their answers. Second, the organization allegedly bribed college coaches to help admit the students into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their abilities, prosecutors said.
"They had so much money and power and fame and influence, and they were still trying to use that to cheat the system" @AriMelber on whether the actresses will end up in prison after being charged as part of a college admissions cheating scheme.https://t.co/q9iaLuAR8B— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) 13 March 2019
In all, 50 people were charged in the criminal investigation that went by the name "Operation Varsity Blues."
The parents, Lelling said, were a "catalog of wealth and privilege," including actors, CEOs, a fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.
"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud," Lelling said. "There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I'll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."
This week's sweeping college admissions scandal could open the door for Congress to finally take a hard look at the ways the wealthy have long legally bought their kids’ way into college: Legacy admissions, massive donations and athletics https://t.co/yhGdleH6Ve— POLITICO (@politico) 13 March 2019
FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta said the parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee admissions for their children. The criminal accusations stretch from 2011 to 2019. The extensive case involved arrests in six states across the country.