Tinseltown has been rocked today by a massive college admissions scam. The 270-page complaint alleges that some of the nation’s most coveted schools, including Yale, Stanford, and Georgetown, were involved in the pay-for-play “admissions.”
Supposedly included in the charges were Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin of Full House fame, according to Fox News. The college admissions scam first came to light when the big-name Hollywood parents involved were exposed – but, according to the latest updates, as many as 750 families may have benefited by paying for their kids to have “ringers” take SATs for them and for “insiders” at exam sites to change student scores. As well, fake athletic profiles were created for some, and money – lots of it – changed hands.
How does all this cheating strike parents of kids who work their rear-ends off to gain an honest admission? Why, they are incensed. Liberty Nation spoke with one parent who is beyond furious after having worked long and hard along with her two children to gain admission to two of the nation’s most prestigious schools. It was an arduous – beyond exhausting, she says – process.
LN: What is your initial reaction to this College Hollywood scam?
Ann: My boys had to overcome extreme obstacles to get their admissions. This exposé is more than a slap in the face – it’s a punch in the gut. People really care about getting their kids into colleges. I just never thought they would cheat that much. And I have to tell you one thing, I think this goes to a larger message and that is the whole issue of Hollywood and a lack of morality.
I hate to put it like that, but I couldn’t help thinking of a parallel with immigration and people like me who do put blood, sweat, and tears to do it the right way. It’s like people who immigrate to this country legally. It’s the same thing. It’s like it seems to be this attitude: “Well, if we have money, we can just cheat.” Or, “if we have a good enough sob-story on the immigration stuff, we’ll just cheat.” Cheating seems to be at the heart of that philosophy. It doesn’t matter how you do it. The end justifies the means.
LN: I think you make a beautiful parallel. You know, it’s interesting because you have sweat blood and tears to get your kids into two of the most prestigious universities through high grades, working hard and both got places on the schools’ Crew teams. Apparently, part of this scam was creating fake athletic profiles for some students. I mean, how do you do that?
Ann: What I don’t understand is what happens when these kids start at the college and join the team. Doesn’t it become pretty clear that they can’t sail, row Crew, play soccer, etc. These sports require a lot of skill and athletic practice. It’s like being hired by NASA’s space program and being asked for your input to build the rocket. What happens then? I would love to know ”
For example, on the Crew team, they look at your Erg score and these things have to be videoed. You must show how you did and then when you get to the team, you’re tested immediately. And so, the only way I can think that something like this can happen, is that there’s just not enough checks and balances in place.
LN: All right. Let me ask you — What does it really take to genuinely get your kid into a top-tier school?
Ann: I’m really glad you’re asking this question because I don’t think people realize that this is why it’s so galling when people leapfrog the process by cheating. To do this, both my sons, basically for four years and more … actually for six years … devoted their lives to academics and sports because to be recruited D1 [Division 1] in your sport, many of these kids are basically the top athletes in their age-group in the nation.
And so, to do that, they’re not only working to get the grades they need to get to develop their brain, they have to add on top of all that school work, they have to train for at least three hours a day, six days a week. They focus. They give their all to this. They watch what they eat, they watch how they sleep. They are 100% all in and they have to do this for years, so that when they get into one of these schools, it is the culmination of that kid’s devotion, blood, sweat, and tears. And so, to find that people leapfrog this process by writing a check, is so galling and so upsetting for these kids, that it’s awful.
LN: What about the SAT cheating element of this scandal?
Ann: When people think about recruiting athletes to these top schools, they forget, not only did they have to be the top athlete in their field, they have to academically be way above. So not only do they have to be on the same academic playing fields as all of the other academic applicants to these top institutions, but they have to add that three hours of training and being the top in their field on top of that. The level of commitment, the level of achievement, is so extraordinary. It makes the leapfrog that much more egregious.
LN: Any final thoughts?
Ann: Like everything else, it speaks to Hollywood hypocrisy. On the bad side it’s galling to find this out. But on the good side … I hope that this puts everyone on notice that they will now be watched. I think zero tolerance is the way to go on this stuff.