Newly Uncovered University Scandal

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Newly Uncovered University Scandal

Kyla Wells, Reporter

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For those of us high school students who push through agonizing moments accompanied by stress-filled hours, determined to succeed, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel. With dedication, comes a favorable outcome; whether it’s getting accepted into your dream college, getting a job opportunity, or finally following your passions. For a select few, those outcomes are simply placed in their hands, not considering their qualifications.

Released in March of 2019, a University scandal engulfed the internet and has roared up many opinions. About a dozen wealthy families have just been charged for foul play, resulting from posing their children as qualified college athletes and paying large sums to colleges. The families are well known and include Hollywood actresses, fashion icons and former CEO’s. According to a Los Angeles Times article, former star of “Full House”, Lori Loughlin along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli, paid USC $500,000 to welcome their two daughters onto the college’s rowing team (Hussain, Reyes- Velarde and Winton para. 61). The two girls, Olivia and Isabella were photoshopped into pictures which lured people into thinking they were rowing athletes. Fortunately enough, in 2017, their high school guidance counselor was not convinced the girls rowed and said to look out for any false information on their applications.

     Recently, the Giannulli family has been seeing tons of backlash and hate on social media. 19-year-old Olivia is a well-known influencer on Youtube, which is the platform with the most hate comments. Youtubers are expressing their thoughts on the situation and relating them to their college admissions experience. One Youtuber by the name of Emma Monden posted “Dear Olivia Jade, From a USC Reject” to get across her disappointment and frustration. The chaos surrounding the scandal speaks loudly to college applicants who have spent years preparing for the chance to attend a prestigious school such as USC. Their well- earned spot was taken because of a bribe.

As of now, more than 50 people have been accused of fraud and are looking at harsh consequences. Lori and her husband have just been released due to a $1 million bond after being taken into custody by the FBI about a week before. It’s shocking how money can have such an impact- positive or negative- on someone’s life. As for the other cases, many lawyers and defendants didn’t speak up other than to answer yes or no questions. Taken from U.S. News’ “Wealthy Parents Appear in Court in College Admissions Scam”, “Prosecutors say the case, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, is the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted” (Marcelo). The investigation is still ongoing so by the end of April, we should know some more concrete facts and numbers.

The dilemma now is uncovering whether or not the children of the scheming parents knew the strings they were pulling to get them admitted into college. About eight universities are named in a federal indictment and are unwilling to announce the names of the students involved. Most colleges are revoking admission of the students but some, like Wake Forest University, are honoring the admission because of the student’s innocence to the parent’s crime.

All in all, a scam this large makes people question the integrity of the education system and can have major after effects on everyone involved. Hopefully, the lessons learned create a more trustworthy admissions process in the future; for the sake of deserving students.

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