Wednesday, March 13, 2019

College Cheating Scandal

William Rick Singer - mastermind of the college cheating scandal - administrator of a non-profit tax exempt charity

Yesterday the news broke of the biggest college cheating scandal in the history of the United States. Helicopter parents brazenly paid cash to rig the system so their little darlings could jump ahead of the line and be admitted to colleges of their choice.

Admit it, didn't you know in your heart that this cheating was always going on?  Of course.  We all know about the legacy children who get in prestigious colleges of their parent's choice because their parent's went to that college. The rich white parents donate to the college (a building, a scholarship, etc) and viola! Their precious is admitted.

Actresses Felecity Huffman and Lori Loughin- charged in the college cheating scandal 

I was sickened when I heard and saw this news yesterday. This is the rich and privileged giving their kids a fast track for life.  Sickened to my stomach.  This news confirms that those who play by the rules get screwed again by the rich and influential who have enough money to buy their way to get ahead of the line.

This is personal for me.  When I graduated from high school I wanted to go to college. I couldn't go.  My Mother told me when I was in my freshman year in high school and had to make a choice of what course to take in high school (academic or commercial) that "We can afford to send you to college."  Of course I was hurt and disappointed.  Again I felt "lesser than". Not good enough.  I didn't have any hope of a scholarship.  I was a good student (mostly B's, an occasional "A" and one of two "C's"). I wasn't an athlete so I couldn't go on a sports scholarship. And I didn't have enough self confidence or a car to get a job and work my way through college. So what did I do? I joined the Army for three years.  After I got out of the Army I went to college on the GI bill.  I went to night school three nights a week (three house each night) for four years and obtained an Associate's Degree in Business Management. Didn't help me at all on my job at the bank, I was already ensconced in my career. If I had entered the job market after a four year college degree, my life arguably would be a lot different. 

Like many others, all my life I've played by the rules. And like many others, we all know there is an element of our society who do not play by the rules. Most of them get away with it.  Money and influence.  But it still is sickening and hurts when we see cheating like we saw on the news yesterday. 

You know what is really the discouraging part of this whole scandal?  No one and I mean NO ONE will serve one day in jail because of their cheating.  And why is that?  Because they are rich, influential and white. That's the way our system works in this country.  It's always worked that way and will continue to work that way. Do I sound cynical?  Well, yes.  But it is the truth.  

Reality folks. Not one of these people involved in this scandal will spend a day in jail.  They will express remorse maybe do some community service and life goes on and the cheating and not playing by the rules will continue. 


VRC-Do You! said...

I could not agree with you more. My parents could not pay for college for their kids. And it was not even discussed. We were on our own. I remember when I was a senior in high school my father came out of the house to the front yard where I was mowing the grass and asked what I wanted as a gift for graduation. I knew that mobility was key. I asked for a car. Nothing fancy or new. Just reliable transportation. Never happened. And to boot, he left in the middle of my graduation because he was bored. My last name begins with C for god sake. I worked a full-time job to get my three degrees-associates, bachelors and masters in the evenings. Don't get me started on that.

With this challenge admission scandal in the news, I heard it explained differently. These were parents who had the means and their kids were going be all right no matter what. It appears they were cheating because being like other rich parents were not enough. They had to take it to the next level. To make it exclusive. Sorta like bottle service in a club. Once could afford endless drinks but you don't want to bother with staff coming and disturbing you so you ask them to leave the bottle. I'll pay the extra charges.

We all know parents have given money to get their kids into colleges. We all know there are legacy students. That is how the system works for affluent parents. But this recent scandal takes it to another level. My question is what does it do for the child. Does it question their self-worth? How does it affect their morals, ethics, and integrity? Or does it perpetuate a sense of entitlement? And the cycle repeats itself. Win, get ahead at any cost. To hell with people they stepped on along the way.

Breenlantern said...

I share your anger and disgust. Because being white and wealthy wasn’t enough privilege.....sickening.

Travel said...

The parents wasted their reputations, time and money. The students need to not only get into top schools, they need to learn a lot, or all they have is an expensive piece of paper. I interview and recruit law students from top universities to intern in our office. Some of them are wasting $150,000 on a diploma that will never pay off. It may open the door, but they are unprepared to succeed. Some lack emotional stability to succeed, others lack a mastery of communication, others are simply lazy. The parents can push them through the door, (or slip them in the back door) but in the real world the student needs to become the master if they are to be employed.

When I finished high school, I couldn't see what a college degree would do for me. I went to work, and three years later realized that without more education that front line job was as far as I was going in life. I started at a community college I was driving by on the way to work. I transferred from there to a four year college, I worked full time and went to school part time and finished a four year degree on the 10 year plan. For law school, I went to a second tier state school. It was 82 miles from home, and relative affordable. I worked extraordinarily hard (an unhealthy fear of failure will motivate me to do that) and finished well. That degree opened doors for me. We can go a long way without someone opening the door for us, it takes a lot of work. We don't need top schools, we need to be able to do the job.

Ron said...

VRC-Do You!,
thank you for sharing your experience of graduation. At least your father asked you what you wanted for graduation and attended your graduation albeit he left early. My father didn't do either, he just didn't care. But it wasn't as traumatic for me as one might think, I was used to him being indifferent to me. My father was basically a selfish person, that's just the way he was. I admire you for working your way through college and attaining your degrees. I wish I had that amount of self confidence at that time of my life.

For all my life I have been bitter about those who have everything and more provided for them. My good friend Bill B. (we're still friends) had his college education paid for. He was a smart kid but lazy. He flunked out of college. So what did his father do with the rest of his college money? Brought him a boat. One thing I wanted desperately when I graduated was a car. I was willing to work for it myself but when I graduated I had to be twenty one years old to buy a car on my own. My parents (father) would never sign for me. I was trapped. We lived in the country. I had no way to get to a job. Just another reason I joined the Army. Which as it turned out was the best thing that happened to me at that time of my life.

Growing up I envied my classmates who got an allowance. Twenty-five cents (a quarter) would have made a big difference in my life. But my father didn't believe in allowances. My Moher got me a job as a paper boy when I was ten years old. I had that job for five years. I also had other jobs (cleaning offices and a weekend job at the farmer's market washing dishes). Again, the best thing that could have happened to me at that time of my life. I'm still working, part-time at the hotel. I will work as long as I can go into work (I'm working today).

I have no complaints about my path in life, I think things worked out best for me. But still I have a resentment for those who are already rich and have so many advantages but that isn't enough for them, they want it all. Disgusting. I hope someone spends some time in jail but I doubt anyone will spend one day in jail for their corruption. At least their reputations will be ruined. No more "Aunt Becky".

Thanks for your comment,

Ron said...

I agree, white and wealthy with all of life's advantages wasn't enough for them. Greedy bastards. Of course no one will spend a day in jail but at least some reputations will be ruined. No more "Aunt Becky" roles for one of them. More affirmation that there are two different sets of rules in this country, one for the schlubs like us another for the rich, white, wealthy and connected.

Ron said...

You're right, a college degree can open doors for a young person but sometimes that's all that is needed. When I worked at the bank I saw too many newly college degreed persons come in with an officer title immediately (and salary) while I and others who had the experience and skills struggle with our reduced salaries and did so much more work and hold so much more responsibility. My associates degree didn't do anything for my job. The only satisfaction I got was knowing I was the first in my family to get a college degree albeit "only" a two year degree. I was also the first in my family to obtain a high school degree. My disgust with these parents and their children (and you can't tell me the kids didn't know the skids were greased for them) is that they play by different set of rules. This has always been true in this country. The poor and unconnected do the work while the rich (and white) and connected get a pass to go to the front of the line. This latest development is just a confirmation of that fact.