College admissions scandal affects us all

By Skylar Bouchard, Columnist

At this point, most readers have heard of the college admissions scandal involving parents paying off various people to get their children admitted into elite universities. This experience has outraged many due to the advantages given to kids born with enough money to buy their way into college, causing university students to file lawsuits against their schools.

One aspect not being addressed is the scandal’s potential to devalue the worth of colleges as a whole.

It is not only the unveiling of classism in academia that makes the situation so outrageous but also the effect this has on current students. To many people, a college degree is viewed as an investment, and recently people have become more skeptical toward the value of a degree. There is a fear the education system is currently in the midst of a bubble that will soon pop. This would leave many students in debt, having spent four years of their lives striving toward a degree that no longer holds any value. Situations such as the current scandal only further the public’s distrust in the education system.

With tuition costs rising exponentially and employers becoming more selective, students are grasping at any personal quality to discern themselves from their competition. One of these qualities is the prestige of the college they went to. Universities are not only considered elite due to the value of the education itself but also the extremely selective admissions process. If those schools have allowed their admissions process to be corrupted, it not only keeps prospective students from getting in, but also diminishes the value of the current student’s education. When one student can buy their way through college, it puts all of our skills into question.

Colleges should be vigilant in cracking down on those trying to cheat their way into universities. Not only for moral reasons but also because schools rely heavily on their reputation. It is amazing how short-sighted people can be toward a quick cash grab when the consequences of their behavior are absolutely detrimental to the whole institution. The administrators complicit in this type of behavior are only further digging the grave for the whole university system. The schools should be forced to deal with the consequences of their actions, but we must face the fact this also damages current students.

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Even though this is the case, we, as students, should not be reliant on universities to ensure our reputations. It may be a hard reality, but we must face the fact our degree is no longer a guarantee of future success. Instead, we must use our education as an opportunity to prove our merits through our own actions to make ourselves employable.

Skylar is a freshman in ACES.

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