The Rigged Game of College Admissions

By Ben Lackey

From the time that we first enter the school system, we students hear that going to college and getting a degree is the only way to get forward in life. Every one of us struggled to get into a good school and some of us didn’t make it.

The recent events in the college admissions scandal have revealed the sad truth that the game was rigged from the start. The scandal was about wealthy parents bribing their kids into colleges by either rigging entrance exams or bribing coaches for sports admissions.

Some notable offenders  such as Lori Loughlin, “Full House” and Netflix’s “Fuller House” actress, and Felicity Huffman, “Desperate Housewives” actress, and others were CEOs and executives at various companies. The one common thread is that every one of the parents who bribed their kids into schools was a wealthy elite.

The upsetting part is that many of these kids are undeserving of the spots that they received in these colleges, while many more hardworking students of middle-class or poor backgrounds were competing for spots that were no longer available to them.The story as a whole, however, is unsurprising and is a microcosm of the shady dealings behind college admissions in every elite school.

The fact that these kids were able to sneak their way into an elite school is not a bug in the system—it’s a feature of the system.

Money and power beget money and power, and so as long as money is one of the determining factors of how kids get into college, scandals like these will keep happening.

The system for college admissions as it stands now does not reward merit and effort when ineligible students get into schools simply because their parents have the money to bribe them in.

The methods of fixing entrance exams and bribing coaches are not the only problematic means of getting the children of wealthy people into elite schools. One form of systematic bias in the admissions system is Legacy Admissions, which give preferential treatment to the children of alumni at the respective colleges.

This seems to be yet another example of how wealth and influence stay in the hands of a few families in the upper class while the rest of society struggles to get by.

In other instances, a wealthy person may pay for the construction of a new building at a college or make a large donation, and lo and behold, the child of that affluent person gets into said college.

In many ways, getting into college is a gamble.

Students study hard to do well in school and on exams to try and even the odds against their wealthier counterparts, but one lesson that any experienced gambler will tell you is that the house always wins.

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