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by Jon Burras
A Scandal All by Itself
2019 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
In March of 2019 we awoke to a brand new scandal that had just surfaced and was making headline news. Allegedly,
a plot was unearthed where an intermediary had accepted large amounts of money to help wealthy people place their children into highly
regarded colleges. Large sums of money were paid out to college coaches, administrators and several others. Most people felt a sense
of outrage when they heard the news that wealthy people and some celebrities were buying favors while working class people might be
denied admissions into colleges despite working hard and having good grades.
This entire affair stunk of
another episode of class warfare. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Rich people and celebrities were able to buy
things that others could not get. Not only were they skirting moral proprietary issues they were also allegedly breaking the law.
In this case a college admissions for a son or daughter of a wealthy person is what was being traded on the open market.
While this event works its ways through the courts and public outrage begins to diminish, this should be a very gallant wake up call
to the entire process of college admissions. By and large, college admissions have never been fair and by themselves have always had
many layers of corruption and inequality. In addition to this recent event, college admissions are a scandal in and of themselves.
First off, there is legal corruption and then there is illegal corruption. What we have seen as of late tends
to lean towards the illegal corruption in regard to college admissions. In other words, laws were broken. However, much of college
admissions corruption is completely legal. For instance, a wealthy businessman, celebrity or politician might donate a large amount
of money to a university. This monetary donation might be intended for the general scholarship fund of the university or for a more
specific purpose-like to have a building or science wing of a building named after the wealthy sponsor. We all know what this is for.
This money is a legal bribe so that the wealthy individual will have his son or daughter easily admitted into the school. This method
of college admission scandals is completely legal and has been occurring for hundreds of years.
be more common than one thinks that a wealthy parent is able to donate a sum of money to a school or school administrator so that
the child might gain admission. Through alumni associations, fundraisers and other avenues, money is sometimes changing hands so that
someone can bypass the normal channels of school admissions. Look no further than the legacy admissions process. While money may or
may not be changing hands, if one or more family members have attended a university then you too are more likely to be accepted, despite
what your academic score might be. This process too has been a normal and legal method used for a very long time.
Colleges routinely accept bribes for school admissions. This is especially true when it comes to foreign or out of state students.
Students from foreign countries and other states will often pay double the price of admissions compared to a student who is a resident
of that particular state and a citizen of the United States. These payments are essentially bribes. For instance, UCLA has one of
the highest rates of foreign student enrollment, nearly 15 % of the entire student body. Currently there are over eight-hundred thousand
foreign students studying at American universities.
UCLA, a school partially funded by state tax payers,
receives these foreign students with open arms because the university receives much more money in tuition payments. You might not
be able to get into a school like this because there are so many foreign students enrolled that they have taken up many of the available
slots. Doesn't it seem criminal that a state funded school is not accepting its own citizens first? When you account for the extra
tuition costs received by colleges for foreign and out of state tuition you will begin to know why.
a foreign student will come to the Untied States on a student visa but there is no accountability that this student will ever leave
once his visa expires. Colleges are not held accountable for making sure that a student exits the country when the visa expires. Most
of the 9/11 hijackers where in the United States from Saudi Arabia on expired student visas. Why don't we make colleges responsible?
If they are eager to invite a student in they should be just as eager to make sure that a student leaves on time. Maybe financial
penalties or a large bond would ensure that these students go back home after their visa expires.
students admitted to universities and colleges are not always students. As we have seen, sometimes they are here as terrorists masquerading
as students. There have been times where foreign students have been found to be spies who were trying to gather as much intelligence
on the United States as possible. Often a foreign student will return back to his home country and take the knowledge that he has
learned in America to try to defeat America. We have seen instances where Chinese students come to American universities to learn
such subjects as advanced physics and nuclear engineering only to return to their homeland to work for their government on weapons
programs to defeat America. One of our greatest assets is knowledge and we freely export it to others around the world who are trying
to undermine us. College admission departments don't care what a student's intentions are for being here. They just want the large
foreign fees that these students have to pay.
Next we have the scandal of how many students are admitted
into colleges because they have an extremely high GPA (like 4.3). This result is achieved because some high schools offer Advanced
Placement classes (AP) that are considered college level courses. These students get extra credit for taking these courses and thus
rise above others in admissions. What happens to the smart kids who attend a high school where AP classes are not offered? Is this
not discrimination where one student is able to raise his GPA to appeal to the admissions departments while another student is not
able to do so? It seems reasonable that college courses should be taught in college and high school courses taught in high school
but is seems unfair to have some high schools teaching college level courses where other high schools are not able to do so. All grades
are not the same.
While it might be a controversial topic, not all people admitted to college are there because
they earned the grades to be there. We have in place a program called Affirmative Action. This is a reparations program where some
African Americans are able to bypass normal admissions procedures while not being admitted on merit. They are admitted because of
the color of their skin. The belief is that slavery (now ended nearly one-hundred and seventy years ago) has left a lasting mark on
many African Americans that they are still not able to get ahead on their own and require special help. Whether you agree or disagree
with Affirmative Action or not, it is a system that bypasses admission into a college by merit.
college admissions loophole is how children referred to as DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) are able to be admitted to colleges
and universities. These are young adults who have no legal status in the country but have temporary protection provided for them by
former President Barrack Obama. One side of thinking says that since these people are already here why not help them make the best
of their lives and grant them the ability to work legally and earn college degrees. The other side of the argument states that these
individuals are in the country illegally and should not be taking the slot of an American citizen at a university or college. Why
should state tax payers have to partially fund an education for someone who is here illegally? No matter which side of the fence you
are on, the reality is that not everyone is admitted to a college on merit and a smart United States citizen might not be able to
be admitted to a college because others with special circumstances have taken his spot.
It is also scandalous
of colleges to have athletic programs where student athletes who really do not want to be studying at all are taking up classroom
seats instead of those who really value an education. Schools spend an enormous amount of money on their athletic programs, most of
which are a financial burden to the school. Only football and at times men's basketball programs actually make any money. Colleges
are wasting classroom space on those athletes who just wish to play a sport and hope to move through the college system and on to
a professional career.
As you can see, a small scandal in the public eye involving a few celebrities is nothing
compared to the deeper politics of college admissions. While most of these scandals are completely legal, their moral objectives can
certainly be questioned. Being admitted to a college because you worked hard, got good grades and obeyed the rules might not be enough
in today's climate. Many people are accepted into college not by merit but by special privileges. Life is not fair; neither are college