To any admissions officer, these kids would seem to be perfect applicants: high SAT scores, stellar co-curricular activities. It’s a no-brainer to accept them into their universities.
However, all these credentials were doctored and false.
Numerous prominent Americans have been caught in a nationwide college admissions scandal.
Olivia Jade, popular YouTube beauty vlogger and daughter of Full House actress Lori Loughlin, is one of those few. Her mother and father (fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli), allegedly paid bribes totaling some $500,000 for their two daughters to be accepted to the University of Southern California as members of the rowing crew team, despite the fact that neither had ever rowed competitively.
Olivia Jade has mentioned in a video before how she was not very interested in school and only wanted to go to experience partying and game days. This drew lots of backlash from her nearly 2 million subscribers, calling her privileged and spoiled. She has since apologised for her statements.
It remains unclear whether she was aware of her parents’ bribery.
Almost 50 celebrities and wealthy Americans have been charged in the US$25 million cheating scheme.
William ‘Rick’ Singer was the mastermind behind this fraudulent business. He accepted huge payments from US$15,000 to US$75,000 to help rich peoples’ children cheat on exams such as the SAT and ACT. In another scheme, he helped parents forge false athletic accomplishments to better improve their chances of admission.
In one case, a father paid US$1.2 million for Singer to conjure a fake athletic profile for his daughter- as an accomplished soccer player despite her having never played the sport.
The system “is a zero-sum game. For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely-talented student was rejected.”US attorney Andrew Lelling, at a press conference announcing the charges on 12 March.
This has incited outrage from many Americans for the unfairness. To get into top schools such as USC, UCLA, Yale, the University of Texas, and Georgetown, these rich people were able to buy their way in and deny others a rightfully earned place.