Success is earned, not bought

During their senior year, millions of high schoolers apply to colleges and universities and nervously wait months to see if they will be granted admission into the school of their dreams. Imagine if the stresses of college admission no longer existed, and it was possible to bargain your way into the school of your choice. Oh wait, that happens.

At this point, weeks after the college admissions scandal hit the front pages of news outlets across America, almost everyone has formed some sort of opinion on this topic, but if not, let me take this time to share mine.

Getting into college is no easy feat. High school students have to maintain high GPAs while also scoring well on their SATs and ACTs to be able to gain admission into respected universities, such as the University of Southern California. To put things into perspective, USC has an acceptance rate that sits very selective at 16 percent while requiring a 3.76 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale and a score of 1400 on the SATs to gain admission into this prestigious university. To put it bluntly, the University of Southern California is extremely selective with whom they allow entrance. But are they really?

After the news broke that celebrities like Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli paid for their two daughters to gain entrance into the University of California by falsifying SAT scores and faking athletic backgrounds, word spread like wildfire — raising many questions. How many celebrities have done the same? Did my acceptance get denied because of situations like this?

Does USC really deserve the prestigious reputation it has? Are there other colleges and universities that are guilty of the same crime, but just have not been caught yet?

As as a college student myself, this scandal of is extremely disturbing because, just four years ago, I was going through the stressful college admission process. Getting acceptances, denials and a bunch of wait list letters is part of the process. It is a way to show students how much work they actually put in through their four years of high school. Knowing someone may have gained admission to your dream school while you have worked much harder, had better grades and were more qualified, and you still got denied, is a serious slap in the face.

As a college student and a college athlete, it is appalling to see the rich abuse their money in a way that directly impacts aspiring young professionals.

The admission spots of those hard working, young adults may have been filled by someone who has too much money to know what to do with. With that much money, no amount of athletic or academic ability matters. This throws hard work right out the window, and allows the rich to abuse the wealth they may have worked hard to achieve. It is a revolving door that, in the end, hurts everyone walking through it — the colleges that were illegally bribed; the rich, who did the bribing; and the hardworking young adults who were unfairly denied entrance.

Putting aside the three variables mentioned above, on a basic level, the fact that parents are breaking federal laws to get their children into colleges or universities is not only pathetic, but from a college student’s point of view, it could be seen as rather offensive. Parents are supposed to be supportive and have the utmost faith in their children’s abilities, but a college entrance bribe does not seem very faithful to me. Yes, most parents want their children to be set up for success, which involves attending the best schools possible. But not allowing their children to pave their own paths to success only sets them up for failure, or in this extreme case, public humiliation and shame.

Lori Loughlin’s daughters have been very vocal about their opinions towards their parents’ actions. According to ABC News, Olivia, Loughlin’s daughter, is very frustrated, distraught and humiliated, and is trying to find a way to rebuild her brand. Her parent’s lack of faith, although at the time they may have had good intentions, has tarnished the lives of their very own. USC is not allowing Loughlin’s daughters to withdraw from the university, despite their efforts to move on with their lives, and Loughlin herself is looking at two years in federal prison. Was the bribe worth it? Probably not.

Loughlin, who stole the hearts of audiences as Aunt Becky on the TV show, “Full House”, just as easily broke the hearts of those same people. She built a brand for herself. She was admired by thousands. She was held to a higher standard, and she let her followers down, she let her family down and she let herself down. She proved once again that the rich and famous aren’t untouchable, and they are definitely not beyond the boundaries of the law.

Was the cheating and lying really worth it? Well, Loughlin, and many others categorized as the extremely wealthy, may face prison time to contemplate that themselves. But for us, who are appalled and feel unfairly treated because we do not have thousands of dollars to waste on cheating our way through the system, we need to demand better. Colleges and universities should be held accountable for accepting such bribes, as well as they should pay more attention to the students that actually deserve entrance. It is hard enough to get into college to begin with, leave the corruption out of it.