College cheating scandal sparks debate

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College cheating scandal sparks debate

Kylee B. '21, Writer

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On March 19, it was revealed famous celebrities as well as wealthy parents had paid administrators or test proctors thousands of dollars to get their kids into the college of their dreams. Celebrities caught in the scandal include actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. The celebrities and their children are receiving severe backlash and it is making people question how easy it is for the wealthy to get what they want.

Rick Singer was a key factor in the scheme. He presented himself as an expert in the university admissions process, and he founded a non-profit organization called Key Worldwide which claimed to help “disadvantaged students around the world.” In reality, it was a slush fund for people to make “charity donations” which he then pocketed and fulfilled their requests, according to the BBC.

Celebrities would claim their child needed a specific proctor to administer their test, meaning they would get extra time, and after the test was done, the proctor would change their answers. In other cases, celebrities would pay administrators to say their kids were on a sports team for the school just so they could get accepted into the university. Huffman paid $15,000 so her daughter could cheat on an entrance exam, and Loughlin made a $500,000 donation so her daughters could be on the University of Southern California crew team, which would guarantee them admission into the school. The celebrities thought it would be easier to cheat than to put in the work.

“I think students cheat at OHS because our society has taught them instant gratification. They cheat because it is easier and quicker to get the same results they could get if they were prepared,” history teacher Chris Binkley said.

The backlash these celebrities encounter is severe, and it is not just the parents but their kids too. According to People, Loughlin has been fired from her Hallmark shows and movies, and it is now uncertain whether she will be in the upcoming season of Fuller House. Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade was recently in collaboration with Sephora, but they dropped her makeup line. Additionally, Tresemme ended their partnership with Jade and the online clothing store Lulus has stopped working with her.

“It is shocking knowing one of the characters I watched growing up is involved in a scandal like this. The character Loughlin played is completely different from the person the media is currently portraying,” Owen Riedel ‘21 said.