Operation Varsity Blues Scandal

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Every high school senior knows just how daunting the college admission process can be. The applications, essays, and letters of recommendation can add major stress to any teenager’s life. However, for some it seems that simply being born to a wealthy family is all it takes to get into some of America’s most elite schools.

Recent news indicates that dozens of wealthy parents were caught fraudulently paying for their children to be accepted into prestigious universities, including Yale, Georgetown, University of Southern California, Stanford, and Wake Forest. The scam was dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” and included 50 people extending from successful businessmen, to well-known actresses. Famous “Full House” star, Lori Loughlin, as well as “Desperate Housewives” actress, Felicity Huffman, are some of  those convicted of the scam.

The scam involved multiple bribes and scandals in order to get into these prestigious schools. Over 50 people were convicted in paying William Singer, the ringleader of the operation, who then would pay ACT and SAT officials to fudge test scores. The secrecy did not stop there. Singer would also conspire with college coaches to pass off students as athletes to get in, even if the student had no athletic ability.

On Tuesday, Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Loughlin has already paid her 1 million dollar bail but is still facing the repercussions of her actions. She has been fired off her show “Fuller House” and the Hallmark channel has pulled a recent episode of her show, “When Calls the Heart” off schedule.

Many celebrities have started to poke fun about the scandal on the popular social media platform, Twitter.  Famous author Lena Dunham joked, “All the people involved in this college scam should have gathered their money and started a small elite college where Lori Loughlin teaches a class on smiling”. However, many Americans have responded with absolute outrage as unqualified students have stolen spots that should belong to rightful applicants. Senior Cate Crosbie seems to have the same reaction as she explained, “My ACT prevented me from a huge scholarship at my college of choice. This is infuriating news because I spent three years studying for the test and worked extremely hard all four years of high school. I hope this will encourage colleges to stop taking standardized test scores as a whole.”

The effectiveness of standardized testing has been questioned for a while now. People are claiming it as an inaccurate representation of a person’s intelligence.  With this new scandal brought to light, will it change the future of the SAT and ACT as we know it?