Not only did the recent college admissions scandal expose the individuals involved in varying levels of fraud, it also showed the brokenness of the college admissions system and the drastic change that has occurred over the past two decades.
The U.S. Justice Department ultimately charged 50 people in six states in the $25 million cheating scheme. The investigation, codenamed Operation Varsity Blues, involved 200 agents and included well-known parents and coaches.
In response, the Department of Education opened its own investigation to examine whether the universities violated any laws or regulations in accordance with federal aid programs.
Just a few months ago, I went through the college application process. I am fortunate to attend a school that encourages students to apply to college, as well as having a family that supports my education. But I also worked hard to earn my GPA, my SAT score and my achievements in extracurricular activities.
Though I had done everything in my power to make sure I was in the best position possible for admission to my top schools, I was still worried. And that is what is wrong with the college admissions system.
Students across the nation, many without the resources my friends and I had, are finding it astronomically difficult to be accepted to their top schools. These students work their absolute hardest and put their best foot forward and, in my opinion, they deserve an education at a certain university. But they often do not get that opportunity.
This scandal has brought the conversation about the negative aspects of college admissions into classrooms and homes across the nation.
The scheme involved getting students admitted to prestigious U.S. colleges as recruited athletes, disregarding their athletic abilities, as well as helping students cheat on college entrance exams, including the SAT and the ACT.
Parents allegedly paid William Rick Singer, the former operator of a college counseling and preparation business, to secure admission spots for their children.
Many who attended college decades ago believe it has simply grown increasingly difficult to be admitted to certain colleges, and people are willing to do whatever they need to do to send their children to these elite schools. However, we must do what we can to make sure a scheme of this nature never happens again.
We must hold these prestigious universities accountable and expose the broken system for what it is.
To all of you worried about college admissions, remember that all you can do is your best. Try not to let the system get you down.
Sydney is a senior at CVCHS. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org