A Scandal For The Century


Clara Cianfarano

The image above displays college flags of different universities in the United States (Photo courtesy of Clara Cianfarano).

Parents claim that they acted out of love, but did they really? The college admissions scandal has taken the nation by storm as parents bribed their child’s way into some of America’s top universities. Without thinking of possible consequences, hopeful parents committed these illegal actions. Many individuals took part in such behavior; however, two actresses are at the front of it: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. 

“If their children couldn’t get into college by themselves, they’re not going to be successful at that college. They’re not academically or socially prepared for the challenge. Parents teach kids what is right and what is wrong, and it’s confusing for their kids if they do something that is considered so wrong. It sets the wrong example,” said senior Maddie Gagne.

The mastermind behind the scandal is college prep expert William Singer. Individuals linked to Singer in this scandal are 33 students who are attending the University of Southern California, more commonly known as USC. Parents paid him to fake their children being on athletic teams while in high school and/or changing their child’s standardized test scores, some paying up to $25 million. However, Singer didn’t work alone in the atmosphere of USC. A top athletic director at the university, Donna Heinel, was found to be Singer’s main accomplice in the scandal.

“Everyone should have a fair chance of getting in without the help of others, and they are bribing the admissions which is a felony,” said senior Simran Chhatwal.

Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to charges of paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT scores to be changed. Suspicion came after Huffman’s daughter’s score drastically skyrocketed compared to her PSAT score. Resulting from this she was charged on accounts of mail fraud and honest services fraud. During her trial, she received a fourteen-day sentence behind bars. However, due to good behavior, she was released after serving only eleven days out of the original fourteen-day sentence.

“To be honest, I don’t think it’s all that serious, so technically no, she shouldn’t have had that harsh of a sentence. But at the same time, if it had been anyone else, like someone who didn’t have money or wasn’t famous, they probably would have gotten a worse one. So on that note, yes, maybe she should have [received a harsh sentence],” said senior Kamryn Mattison.

Full House star, Lori Loughlin, is another actress under fire. She allegedly had both of her daughters photoshopped as if they were athletes on a rowing team, leading to that aiding in her daughters’ acceptance to the University of Southern California. Loughlin has been pleading not guilty on the same charges as Felicity Huffman and hasn’t been sentenced yet. However, the actress is now facing new charges. In addition to the charges she is already facing, Loughlin is now accused of committing federal programs bribery. This means that she paid off USC employees to help aid her daughters’ acceptance into the high-profile school. After receiving these new allegations, she continues to plead not guilty which may lead to possible disaster during her sentencing.

“If she’s getting more charges, then she might as well just give it up. She is and will make everything even worse for herself, so [if I’m] being honest at this point [pleading guilty] is her best option,” added Mattison. 

The University of Southern California announced that any money used as bribery in the scandal will be used for scholarships for underprivileged students. The university is also in the process of investigating other students and plans on denying admission to individuals involved and found guilty. 

“The kids that were admitted didn’t truly earn their spot like every other student. So many kids work so hard to get good grades and good standardized test scores but still don’t get into those schools because they don’t have enough money to bribe anyone. Since [those] involved in the scandal didn’t earn their spots, their enrollment should be terminated,” added Gagne.