College Admissions Scandal Hits Close to Home

Graydon Leongkaye and Sarah Liu, Writers

On March 12, the FBI unearthed the largest college admissions scandal in U.S. history.

At the time of publishing, 50 people have been charged over the course of the investigation for bribing athletics staff, fabricating college entrance exam scores, among other things.

Notable figures like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman have been charged among the thirty parents and over ten coaches, as these parents allegedly paid an accumulated $25 million dollars to guarantee their children’s entry into elite universities such as Yale University and the University of Southern California (USC).

Among the coaches listed in the scandal was USC water polo coach, Jovan Vivac, who won ten NCAA titles during his tenure, was fired for allegedly receiving $250,000 in bribes for falsely identifying an athlete as a recruit.

Sophomore and varsity water polo player Aidan Wattson has changed his opinion on Vivac due to the scandal.  

“[Vivac] doesn’t deserve the amazing treatment he has gotten. It’s unfair for all the other student-athletes who have worked hard but have been denied opportunities because their parents aren’t as rich as Hollywood actors and actresses,” Wattson said.

William Singer, the owner of Edge College and Career Network, was accused of facilitating and profiting from the scandal.

Singer used the nonprofit branch of his business called The Key, to bribe the coaches.

Singer used a variety of methods to help children get into top universities such as cheating on the college entrance exams and having children feign learning disabilities to receive more time to take these exams or even hiring people to take exams in the place of the student.

Junior Alana Mendez believes this scandal has shined light on the unfairness of college admissions.

“I think there was always a common, underlying feeling among society that some wealthy families will bribe their way into selective colleges, but seeing this scandal blow up and highlight celebrity names especially, is truly mortifying to see as someone who will be applying to college next year,” Mendez said.

While firing the coaches may solve the short term problem, senior Shiv Patel believes there is a way to prevent scandals like this for happening in the future.

“I would imagine that preventing something like this in the future would involve solving the issue at its source, the societal pressure for children to attend colleges with big names,” Patel said.