College scandal hurts education’s image

Going to college is an exciting and important experience for most people. It can shape

who you become and how you spend the rest of your life. During those years, you have the

chance to make new friends, take on new and unique opportunities, and become an adult. That being said, the process of applying to college can be grueling. Recently however, more than a few parents, with money to spare, have decided to buy and lie their children’s way into college.

This dishonesty is insulting. It is insulting to those applicants who are told to play by the rules and wait their turn. It is also insulting to the children who benefit from such deception. The act of using a monetary donation to influence college admission is not new; however, the methods to insure admission have become more extreme.

The issue of using position or money to affect admission, while controversial, has long been accepted. Legacy students are those who have a familial attachment to a particular institution and who are accepted based upon this relationship.

These students are not always accepted based upon their academic merit but because of the relationship a parent or family member has to that particular college. Is that fair? No, it is not but at least legacy admissions have a relatively lengthy history and have become somewhat accepted.

Long before Jared Kushner’s Harvard admission, parents of means have donated large sums of money and/or built edifices as a means of getting their children accepted to college. There is a process to college admission for a reason, however.

At issue is the fact that the admission process has been circumvented. Parents are now resorting to cheating to have their children admitted over and above students who are attempting to go through the process legally.

A well-placed bribe has taken precedence over hard work and playing by the rules. One of the most attractive things about living in the United States is that it is supposed to be a country where anyone can succeed as long as they work hard. Bribery and lies go against this “rule”. The average person cannot compete with a $500,000 bribe and lies about athletic accomplishments.

This unfair advantage is insulting to the hard work and effort of the students who do not have access to such means. The student who has devoted himself to sacrifice and hard work might be ignored in favor of the student who lied about her accomplishments. The offense does not stop there. It is also unfair to the student on whose behalf the cheating has been done.

Few positives come from lies. Parents who lie to get their children accepted to college are not doing their children any favors. The role of a parent is to teach a child to stand on his / her own two feet. By cheating to gain admission to college, a parent is not teaching independence but is reinforcing dishonesty. How far will the parent go to make sure that his child succeeds?

What if the student is not able to keep up with the demands of the class? What steps will the parent take to make sure the child performs well? The deceitful possibilities are endless.

Besides, instead of spending more money to get your kid into college than a four years tuitionwould actually cost, why not buy them a tutor?

To be admitted to college is a privilege and each person who has the desire to attend college should be allowed the opportunity. The reason for attending college is to stretch and reach your potential.

College attendance is what allows you to develop skills that you will use throughout your career. It is there that you make lifelong friends and take advantage of experiences that you might not otherwise encounter. For so many applicants, the process of choosing, applying to and waiting for college acceptance can be overwhelming.

It is unfair that this process can be sidestepped with money and a well thought out lie. This dishonesty is unfair to the student who has to play by the rules and to the student who is allowed to circumvent them.

I’m an older sister of two younger siblings who will both be in college next year, and I’ve witnessed and felt the struggle of applying to college. It can be very nerve-wracking and it’s an experience that can really toy with your emotions, depending on if you’ve been accepted of rejected.

I believe that this experience however, is something that most people should go through, without resorting to cheating and bribery.