By Kylie Chisholm:
Aunt Becky may be moving from “Full House” to the big house. Lori Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky in the sitcom, was charged along with 50 other affluent parents, athletic coaches, and other associated personnel in what has become known as the College Admissions Scandal. An estimated $25 million was spent in bribes by the 33 parents that ensured their children were accepted to elite universities including the University of California at Los Angeles, Yale University, and the University of Southern California.
NBC News reported Loughlin was charged alongside actress Felicity Huffman, known for her role on the TV series “Desperate Housewives.” Several other parents, athletic coaches, and test proctors were also charged. Rick Singer, who authorities said facilitated the bribing of athletic coaches and test proctors, has also been charged in the scandal.
CNN reported Singer is the leader behind the scheme. Singer accepted money from these wealthy parents and used it to bribe college athletic coaches to recruit the children for athletic teams, thereby facilitating their acceptance to these universities. The money was also used to bribe SAT and ACT proctors and administrators to help the children cheat on these exams and obtain more competitive scores.
The money for these bribes appeared to go towards The Key Worldwide Foundation, a nonprofit advertised as a “private life coaching and college counseling company” designed to help the underprivileged. In a conversation recorded by law enforcement, Singer admitted to retrieving the money for these bribes through the foundation.
Loughlin is said to have paid $500,000 to have her two daughters, Isabella and Olivia Giannulli, recruited for the USC crew team despite them having no previous rowing experience. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to have a test proctor correct her daughter’s SAT answers after taking it, leading to a 400 point increase in her score.
The scandal has sparked a conversation on social media about white privilege, college ethics, and the integrity of the college admissions processes. In a video reported by the Los Angeles Times, students at East Los Angeles Community College gave their opinions on the scandal.
One young woman responded to the LA Times by saying “It seems like we’re working for nothing if they’re just coming in and just buying their way into college.” The video also shows how these students take part in an academically charged program at the community college that helps theme visit schools like USC. The program also aids the students in transferring to four-year universities. You can watch their full video below.
As a higher education institution, faculty and students at Assumption College have also been weighing in on the College Admissions Scandal and how it relates to life on Assumption’s campus. Erik Abramson, the College’s Assistant Director of Admissions, explained how at Assumption, admissions and athletics fall under the same umbrella. This ensures the integrity of both athletic recruitment and academic admission for prospective student athletes.
“It was a breath of fresh air to just know that we are doing things the right way. We’re doing them ethically. I feel very confident in our process and kind of what we’re doing,” Abramson said of Assumption’s admissions process.
In light of the scandal, some student athletes at Assumption felt offended by the parents’ actions. Junior Hannah McGrath reflected on how hard she had worked to obtain an athletic scholarship and spot on Assumption’s field hockey team.
“To be an athlete and compete at the college level is extremely hard, and I have personally been working towards it since the seventh grade,” said McGrath. “To have someone take that opportunity away from another student who worked to gain this opportunity is horrible.”
McGrath’s opinion reflects those of the Los Angeles community college students: the scandal hurts those students who work hard to earn competitive test scores, academic admissions and merits, and athletic scholarships. But, as Abramson pointed out, the scandal acts as a harsh reminder of the responsibility admissions counselors and coaches have to their institution. The scandal also reveals Assumption’s admissions process ensures that only the most deserving of students and athletes are admitted to the college.