For me, some of my more interesting days involve college life. It screamed possibilities not yet realized and goals simplified into daily challenges. However, on the heels of the recent college admissions scandal, I can’t help feeling like I understand a bit of both sides of the story. However I may feel, I can’t help wondering what it may have been like for a recent high school grad hoping to get into the college of choice and getting that letter that they weren’t accepted. The constant inner turmoil thinking that maybe I just wasn’t good enough, maybe if I had done that little thing a bit better, if I was better at this thing, then I could have gotten into (insert Ivy League name here) then all would be well with the world. For some people, going to certain colleges are a family tradition. For others, they may have had to settle for their second choice unknowingly that the space that should’ve been theirs, was replaced by someone not more qualified, but whose parents just happened to be in a better financial standing to ‘buy’ their way in.
It also begs the question of how many of these scandals may occur on a regular basis outside of William Rick Singer? Singer is the first person to be caught in the act but that doesn’t mean that he was the only one who greased the palms of certain university officials for a happy ending. He is not the first and he certainly won’t be the last to try this kind of fraud, he is only the one with the most present incriminating evidence. I for one know I’m not the only one who has met a few people on the streets of America and have wondered to myself if this person is a college grad, why they can’t understand basic principles and steps. How can one be a university grad and have an IQ almost competing in height with a five year old? I may never get the answer to those questions but I do know that this scandal has unearthed a hidden but true statement. Not all hard work gets rewarded accordingly.
I also couldn’t help but think of the next side of the story based on the accused. Now that this scandal has been exposed, are the children of the accused going to be forced to leave said schools? Is this going to be a slap on the wrist to rich entitled parents who I’m most certain are going to plead to the hearts of the judge, that they simply want the best for their children? After all, everyone wants the best for their kids and a college education is the last step to ensuring this. Even though these young adults may face some scrutiny while in attendance at the school, is it right to remove them now especially if some of them are sophomores or higher. This is a tough question to answer especially if even though their entrance was based on a lie, some may have proven that they have the intellect and drive to do what is necessary to be the best they can be. The valuable skills that have been learnt there cannot be erased and will only be wasted if they are to be removed from the environment that has now accepted them as their own. The friendships created there would have to be replaced and all the integrity created will have to start anew all because of an unethical decision.
Some of the consequences of these actions need to be administered very carefully. For one, college is a stressful part of any young adult life and changes that are made to either family life or admittance of these students can have a huge impact on their mental states. Depression is already a major epidemic in the society at large. According to ACS Distance Learning, mental factors can affect both a person’s health and fitness. Social levels and the effect of socio-economic status can play a role in health. Research done shows that the higher the level of a socio-economic class reflects a higher level of health and longevity. That being said, to remove these already stressed though undeserved college students from their schools means a little more than simply slapping a charge on the parents and saying that justice is served. Wealth doesn’t determine mental health and while the headline was conditioned to make us think ‘Rich kids take advantage of wealth for schooling’ it sheds light on a higher question. How many more things do rich people get for free that hasn’t been unearthed yet or isn’t a crime but a subtle case of bias that persons of lower economic standings have to work hard for but will be rejected anyway? Are these actions the result of poor/selfish choices or something deeper at a mental health level passed on from parent to child? Will those students who may be poor but just as smart as or smarter than those at these schools be compensated for hurts felt and opportunities missed?
Whatever the ruling outcome, it is clear that the justice system has a clear balance to take into consideration. In cases like this, I can often be the first one shouting for justice, however, this isn’t just about the poor choices of parents. It also involves hard work that through semesters I believe shouldn’t go to waste. I would vote for these students to show themselves worthy of these schools through testing and put them through the same time consuming and tiring application process that poor students had to go through because it wasn’t just a matter of paying a hefty sum to them. I believe they should be held to a higher standard because of how they came to acquire these admissions to said schools. They should be made an example out of to dissuade those than think such a method is acceptable for future scheming and ensure nothing like this happens again.