In 2019 a completely unsurprising scandal came to light. High-profile celebrities as well as other high net worth individuals were exposed for having bribed colleges and universities into accepting their kids. Nobody with common sense was surprised by this but I along with others still had to ask the question of why? Why would rich people care if their kids got into college or not? Everyone knows that rich kids don't actually need any kind of higher learning because their parents are going to take care of them anyway so what's the point? The parents know just as well as anyone does that having a degree just looks good. Its a signal that the degree holder is at least somewhat intelligent which definitely isn't always true but that's a topic for another discussion.
The 2019 college admissions scandal brought two glaring issues about college to light:
Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among 50 wealthy people whom prosecutors allege paid to get their children into elite colleges.
Felicity Huffman spent 14 days in prison for her role in what authorities called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.
When the FBI went public with Operation Varsity Blues and exposed a network of wealthy families cheating the college admissions system, Yale students were unsurprised to discover that their school was at the center of it all. A wealthy Yale dad had tipped off investigators. A Yale soccer coach had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from families eager to secure a spot at the Ivy League school.
The prosecutors confirmed what almost everyone already suspected: our higher education system is no meritocracy. Vice News Tonight met with Yale undergraduate students from high and low-income backgrounds as they processed the news during their spring break. "I think people with a lot of money leveraging that to get into Yale was not surprising at all," explained Lily, a Yale senior from California who identifies as lower income. "But the extent of it is shocking. I think at first I was very like 'Oh, I'm so unsurprised.' And then the next day I was like 'No, I'm actually really angry.' I think the anger took a while because it was so funny."
For students from more affluent backgrounds, the scandal made them reflect on whether or not there was a moral difference between the fraud seen in this case and the socially accepted practice of wealthy families donating money and buying campus buildings. Ethan, a freshman and legacy of Yale, argued that at least donations have some benefit. "I think there is a moral difference between perhaps donations versus bribery... the school benefits and for other kids tuition and it might pay for new programs or something that can benefit people. Bribery doesn't go to the school."