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On Tuesday, news broke that some of the most beloved television and film stars were charged in a college admissions cheating scam, according to Huffington Post
. Celebrities, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, along with prestigious CEOs and real estate agents, were accused of bribing college officials to ensure their children were accepted into elite colleges across the country.
Here are the facts, according to Huffington Post
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• Parents paid anywhere from $250,000 to $400,000 to cheat on college exams and apply to elite colleges, posing as student athletes
• Money was paid to William Rick Singer, who ran a for-profit admissions firm that masqueraded as a non-for-profit that sought to “provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth.”
• In action, parents funded and were complicit in the following: having others pose as their children during classes and college entrance exams to get better grades, bribing exam administrators to give their children answers during the actual test, falsely stating their children had learning disabilities to garner more time on tests and staging photo shoots or Photoshopping children playing sports so that they would qualify for admissions as student athletes, regardless of their actual skill level or intent to play.
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• Over 50 people in six states on both coasts have been arrested over the course of the year, such as parents, college entrance exam administrators and varsity coaches and directors.
• Just some of the schools these students were applying to include: Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University.
While this situation seemingly only affects those that were caught, the implications of these parents and their children cheating the college admissions system has a trickle-down effect. For every child that was admitted under false pretenses, a student that had worked hard on their own merit was denied entry into one of these prestigious colleges and universities.
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While this scandal has exposed cheating in college admissions on a very large scale, it’s a lot more common than you think. Students exaggerate on applications, cheat on standardized tests and falsify FAFSA
or tax information. And though at the time, it can seem insignificant, the consequences are not.
Falsifying information or cheating on admissions exams can result in prison sentences, paying thousands of dollars in fines and getting kicked out of school. Any financial aid dollars that were distributed would have to be paid back. Test administrators would not allow you to retest. Essentially, your chances of getting into and paying for college would be nonexistent.
What you can learn from the mistakes of others is that the best way to get into college is the right way. Depend on your own merits, skills and abilities. Make college choices that are realistic to your academic achievements, extracurricular activities and financial situation. And most importantly, don’t cheat. As the old saying goes: cheaters never prosper, and this celebrity cheating scandal more than proves it.