The Absolute Stupidity of the Rich Parents Involved in the Illegal College Admissions Scheme

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The Absolute Stupidity of the Rich Parents Involved in the Illegal College Admissions Scheme

Coby Washo, Staff Writer

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On Tuesday, March 12, federal prosecutors revealed the largest illegal college admissions scheme ever prosecuted. The scheme involves two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine collegiate coaches, and 33 parents, among them, celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The scheme spans across six states, and involves Yale, Stanford, UCLA, and a few other highly selective universities in the U.S. There were allegedly two ways in which the company, “The Key,” would guarantee that wealthy families would get their kids into competitive schools: The Key would help the students cheat on the SAT or ACT, or William Rick Singer, the CEO of The Key, would use his connections with collegiate coaches to designate the wealthy students as top recruits for the school.

The way that the former scheme worked was that Singer would get a third party to either take the tests for the students, or correct the students’ responses after they complete the test. To ensure that the third party would be able to commit this crime, two test administers, one in Houston and one in Los Angeles, were bribed with between $15,000 and $75,000. In the case of Felicity Huffman, she paid $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT score inflated. Her daughter’s score ended up being a 1420, which is 400 points higher than her PSAT score.

The second part of Singer’s scheme involves the bribing of coaches at elite schools. Coaches have a powerful role in admissions, as they can recommend that certain students be accepted for being recruited athletes. Singer took advantage of this power by bribing collegiate coaches, and in exchange, the coaches would recommend that the wealthy student be accepted, even if the student has never played the sport. Lori Loughlin and her husband paid $500,000 to have their daughters designated as recruits for the University of Southern California rowing team.

What particularly stands out to me in this case is the glaring stupidity of all the wealthy parents involved in the scheme. The college admissions process is already slanted towards the wealthy, as they can afford to take the SAT/ACT multiple times, pay for tutors to help improve test scores, and have more time and money to play sports and participate in other extracurricular activities. A new business involving parents paying $1,500 for a Common Application essay and $700 for 500-word essays to be written for their children has sprung up as well. With all of these legal, albeit shady, options out there for wealthy parents, why did the parents involved in the scheme forego these options and instead decide to break the law?

Perhaps the parents themselves just aren’t very smart. Remember how Lori Loughlin paid for her daughters to be designated as recruits for the USC rowing team? Well, to support the fabrication that her daughters participate in rowing, Lori sent Singer pictures of her daughters on an ergo meter (rowing machine).

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Coby Washo, Staff Writer

Coby Washo is a senior at Northgate High School. His primary interests include soccer, politics, and history. He will attend the University of Georgia...

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The Absolute Stupidity of the Rich Parents Involved in the Illegal College Admissions Scheme