Somewhere in Hollywood a script about college admissions fraud is being written.
Word of the Day: Mar. 14, 2019
verb | dih-LAYT
: accuse, denounce
I have many thoughts about this. Go.
Yesterday, the Justice Department charged 50 people – including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin – as part of a multi-million-dollar scheme to get kids accepted into elite universities. It's the DOJ's largest college admissions prosecution, ever.
I will never look at Aunt Becky the same.
Right, who woulda thought? These parents allegedly paid a guy anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to turn their money into college acceptance letters. Some tactics he used: faking SAT scores by bribing test administrators to change kids' answers after the test, paying someone to take standardized tests for them (and once again bribing administrators to let it slide), and getting at least one kid extra time by faking a learning disability. He would also bribe coaches to recruit students as athletes (even if they didn't play), photoshopping kids' faces onto pictures of athletes found online. And lied about kids' ethnicities to take advantage of affirmative action programs.
Damn. Wealthy parents will do just about anything, huh.
Apparently. Out of the 50 people charged – 33 are parents, two are exam administrators, and some are coaches from schools like Yale, Stanford, USC, and Georgetown. The alleged ringleader of all this is William Singer, who led a college prep business known as "The Key." He pleaded guilty and now faces up to 65 years in prison.
What about the kids? Did they get in trouble?
No. No students or schools have been charged. Authorities say many of the kids didn't even know this was happening. And called the parents "the prime movers of this fraud."
In case you haven't noticed, the college admissions process in the US has gotten crazy competitive. And that's when you're playing fair. This story shows how much wealth can help people game an already skewed system. And keep the money and opportunities at the top – regardless of merit.
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