The latest scandal to sweep through Hollywood involved two major actresses bribing schools to give their children acceptance letters. Lori Laughlin, best known for her role as “Aunt Becky” in the TV show Full House and Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives, are facing federal charges for participating in this scandal. The biggest college scam yet was not limited to these two movie stars; around 50 esteemed people were involved. Bribing coaches and school officials to accept people as athletes is half of the scam. Laughlin’s daughter was accepted into USC as part of the crew team without ever rowing a day in her life. The second half of the scam was cheating on standardized tests: the ACT and SAT.
This has made people wonder if college is a scam altogether. How is it fair that students are given better opportunities based on their parents’ ability to pay whatever amount of money to get them into any school they want? Where does hard work stand nowadays? Parents have been outraged because their children that have worked hard for their grades were denied spots at elite universities in order to make room for the children that bribed their way into the school. Students are saying their diplomas lack merit because future employers would question if they earned it or bribed others for it.
It is hard to know for sure the exact number of colleges that participated in this but at this time it is thought to be less than 10. Some of the colleges on the list are: Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Boston University, UCLA, and USC. These are elite, well-known universities that have tarnished their names because they took part in this scam. It will be interesting to see how future enrollment rates for these colleges and universities look like in years to come.
Playing the blame game will get you nowhere but someone has to be at fault in this particular instance. The person that was the ring leader of this operation was William Singer -who was a college counselor in Newport Beach, California. He allegedly had over 700 clients but it is unknown just how many actually participated in the scam. Singer used his connections, and the money, to get to top school officials in order to accomplish the goal. In some instances, he even took the tests himself and the proctors looked the other way because they accepted bribes from him.
An absurd amount of money was forked over by the elite in order to ensure their children’s success. Some of these wealthy parents paid between $15,000 and $75,000 per standardized test. Laughlin apparently paid $500,000 in order for her two daughters to be admitted into college. These people have given up their reputation and have also tarnished their children’s name. Olivia Giannulli (Lori’s daughter) better known as Olivia Jade on her YouTube channel had been very vocal about the fact that she saw YouTube as a career and she only attended college to please her parents and does not miss the “college life experience,” has been bashed over the incident on social media and has lost multiple collaborations because she wasn’t seen as a role model anymore.
“I don’t know how much of school I’m going to attend. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying… I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know,” Jade said during an interview on the Zach Sang Show.
Huffman and Loughlin were arrested on March 12, at their home in Los Angeles and were released later that day on a $250,000 and $1 million bail. With the case still opened and unresolved those involved are still facing court appearances, while the rest of the nation sits and awaits a fair verdict and equal opportunities for the unwealthy.
By Victoria Vitale