Admissions scheme betrays university values


North Wind Staff

On March 12, 50 people were charged in federal court with running a nationwide university admission scheme aimed at allowing affluent individuals to pay for their children’s admission into elite schools. The $25 million conspiracy dates back to 2011, and was facilitated through a for-profit college counseling business called Edge College and Career Network LLC. Through vast monetary donations from parents, underqualified candidates were able to gain entry into various schools, including Yale University, Georgetown University and Stanford University.

The scheme represents a complete betrayal of university values of equality and integrity. In complete bourgeoise fashion, it serves as just another example of the privileged elite trampling over those beneath them. Each spot taken by those individuals represents not just someone receiving a privilege they didn’t earn, but stealing that spot from somebody who did.

The scandal has decimated public trust in the admissions process. Individuals who lost their spots to the undeserving are not the only victims. All those who feel demotivated to pursue college because they feel the system is rigged against them have had their worst fears validated.

Academic integrity is the supporting pillar of higher education. Students are held to incredibly high standards, and in most cases, cheating or plagiarism results in immediate suspension or expulsion. Yet, those entrusted as gatekeepers to the Ivy League traded their integrity for quick profit. In forfeiting the same values they’re supposed to screen potential students for, they delegitimized the entire admissions process.

While the individuals in the scandal have been indicted, we have no idea whether other similar schemes are underway. The possibility of fraudulent admissions has become a reality, and undoing the damage to trust and college integrity will take time to rebuild.

In the future, we hope to see these universities take initiatives to make prestigious schools more accessible to those without economic privilege. Prestige and opportunity belongs in the hands of those who worked for it, not those who paid for it.