College Admissions Scandal

Say It Ain't So Aunt Becky.

Lori Loughlin is best known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis, AKA Aunt Becky, on Full House. When the news broke about Loughlin being involved in a college admissions scandal alongside fellow actress, Felicity Huffman, and 33 other affluent parents, the internet was in an uproar. Many students planning to apply to college or students who have already applied to the universities of their choice are questioning the integrity of the entire college admissions process.

“I think it’s kind of low-balling the fact of being credible for getting into a university,” said Senior Class President and National Honor Society member Jordyn Huffman, “People are working to get into school, while they’re just paying their way in.”

According to The Los Angeles Times, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, wanted their daughters–Olivia Jade and Bella–to attend the University of Southern California so much, that they paid a college admissions ‘consultant’, William Singer, one-million dollars to get both of their daughters into the university. In federal court, Singer provided testimony in which he detailed exactly how he was able to get the lackluster students into their colleges of choice. Singer used the money provided by his elite clientele to bribe university administrators and coaches to recruit the students as athletes for sports with large rosters and a lack of popularity. Singer would then stage photos of the students participating in the sport in order to keep up the facade. News broke on the controversy in March of 2019.

“It’s just kind of discouraging,” said one of two front runners for valedictorian, Isabelle James-Hutson. “Knowing that you can work really hard and other people are still going to get higher than you because you don’t have as much money as them.”

This incident is one of many college admissions scandals unearthed in 2019. Miles away from sunny California and a bit closer to home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest University has been accused of accepting bribes in exchange for college admission by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in ‘Operation Varsity Blues’. According to the Wake Forest  Review, the school’s volleyball coach, Bill Ferguson, was placed on leave by the university for accepting a bribe of $100,000 in exchange for gaining admittance for a student placed on the wait-list by recruiting the high school senior as a member of the volleyball team. This scandal hits closer to home for students across North Carolina who have applied to Wake Forest.

“I didn’t think that anything like that, especially with a credible university like Wake Forest, could happen,” said Huffman. “I didn’t think that they would do something like that. […] It just came as a shock mostly, just the fact that it actually happened and it happened at Wake Forest. I kind of just thought, like, ‘Oh dang, I wonder what’s going to happen to me,’ because that could have still been happening when I applied earlier this year.”

Juniors and underclassmen preparing to take on the admissions process are questioning the integrity of institutions for higher education, while seniors are questioning the processes they have had to undergo, wondering if their hard work and dedication count or if money has the final say.

“It’s not really a new concept,” said James-Hutson. “People buy their way into just about anything. Money gets you into places that other people can’t go.”