College Admissions Scandal Catches Northgate’s Attention


Carly Ortega and Sophia Pinto, Staff Writers

On March 12, at least 50 people were indicted for being a part of the college admissions scandal. This involved students’ families allegedly bribing college admission officials, athletic officials and test administrators so their children could have a better chance of admittance as a student or student athlete athlete. Thirty-three parents were accused of paying more than $25 million in bribes. In addition, some families cheated on standardized tests to get their children into their dream colleges.

The organizer of the scheme was William Rick Singer, who used the money to bribe college admission officers. He currently faces 65 years in prison and a fine of $1.25 million. The parents who used bribery for their children to get into college are facing a sentence that could charge them with 20 years in prison.

The cheating scandal with the SAT’s and other standardized tests involved a third-party, Mark Riddell, who took the tests in the students place or replaced students test answers with his own as a proctor. He did this with help from Singer who bribed the test administrators. According to CNN, Riddell stated: “I am profoundly sorry for the damage I have done and grief I have caused those as a result of my needless actions.” Also stating, “I understand how my actions contributed to a loss of trust in the college admissions process. I assume full responsibility for what I have done” (CNN).

The fake athletic credentials for the students involved Singer who bribed athletic officials, which make the recommendations for who should be admitted. For example, famous actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli daughters were recruited for the university crew team and yet never actually rowed before. The parents instead sent a picture of their daughters on a rowing machine.

In the wave of this scandal, high school students around the United States are waiting to hear back from Universities. But after hearing about what other students have done, it makes the process all the more stressful. Students dedicated hours upon hours of work, studying for tests, writing essays, and sacrificing sleep for grades. So when families are paying their way into schools, stealing the spots from actually hardworking students, it’s not only unfair, it also seems unacceptable.

Not only are students being academically cheated out of their rightful places in college, but athletes are being “outplayed” by others who do not even play sports. College athletics are  highly competitive field across all sports. It is not an easy process to earn a spot at a university’s team. Student-athletes work incredibly hard to become masters at their sport while maintaining high scores in schools. For many, athletics are the way students can get into the more academically rigorous schools or can afford to go to college in the first place. Scholarships are very limited, and full ride scholarships are even father and in between. All the while wealthy families can photo-shop their child onto an athlete and bribe a coach in order to get their student into college.