College entry fraud scandal should serve as a lesson to us all
The arrest of almost 50 people around the country for money laundering, bribery and fraud showcasing how wealthy parents tried to game the college admissions process for their kids to enter the top colleges in the country is a stain on the reputation of those indicted and on the system as a whole.
I worked for many years at a major University in New York and met with students and parents who struggled to pay tuition for their children to have opportunities they themselves never had. Many were immigrants and their children would be the first in their family to attend college.
These individuals would never have the money to "bribe" admissions officials or coaches to get their kids into the college.
But in Hollywood, the elite see no limits to what money can buy - including college admissions regulations.
I feel badly for the children of these parents, many of whom were unaware of the lengths to which their parents tried to buy their future by paying a college prep organization that had relationships with testing organizations, coaches and admissions officials, all of whom were in on the scam and collecting bribes. I wonder if these students will be expelled from these schools because of their parents' acts. The schools involved are eyerolling in terms of their elite reputations: USC, Yale, Georgetown, Wake Forest, etc.
The only way we can ensure a free, transparent admissions process is to interview applicants anonymously.
If we give applicants a Code # and those in the decision process in college admissions never know who the student is, or who are the parents until after they get their acceptance or rejection letters, we can never know if only the rich and powerful can gain entry to the best colleges.
Students should be admitted based on their test scores, interviews and essays - nothing else.
If there are athletic scholarships, those should be separate and based on the recommendation of approved coaches from high schools. No photo shopped photos substituting for real video of a student-athlete performing in their sport.
Until college entry is anonymous, there will always be parents trying to cut corners to get their children into the best schools - making it unfair, unethical and even, as we see now, illegal. If a parent can put a name on a building with a multimillion dollar donation that ensures that their child is admitted to a school, that should be equally unethical and banned.
Let's clean up this mess by making college admissions totally transparent - finally.