It can be discouraging for many when it seems as if their future is filled with favoritism. Recently, several parents, some being celebrities, were caught paying large sums of money in order to bribe their children into exclusive, renowned colleges.
Fifty parents have been indicted into federal custody for their involvement in cheating and bribing their children into top-tier universities. Among them is “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, who paid $500,000 in order to put their two teenage girls on the roster for the University of Southern California. The girls had reportedly been put on the rowing team, even though neither of them rowed. One of the girls was filmed on livestream saying that she was going to college not to go to classes, but to party instead. Loughlin was since fired from her role on “Fuller House” and Giannulli is currently facing fraud charges. The girls have also since dropped out of USC.
Students at Lebanon High School were asked to share their thoughts on the matter, since it is clear that not everybody can buy their way into their dream college.
“Honestly, I was not surprised. People, and celebrities in particular, think that they can get away with anything. At least they are getting caught now, though,” senior Andy Morgan said.
Most of the students were passionate about the issue, saying that this was only a privilege of wealth and not of true merit and hard work.
“I was really mad when I heard about this, because it is kind of stupid, honestly. There are a lot of people who actually work hard to earn what they have. I think it is stupid that if your parents are famous or have a lot of money that you have a better opportunity than others,” said senior Laura Lemen.
“Disappointment was definitely my first thought, and frustration a little bit. It is annoying because all of us at this school work hard for what we get and knowing that people are trying to cheat their way to the top is kind of frustrating,” senior Veronica Kassab said.
Senior Julie Cupka was able to find peace of mind in the fact that she knew she was honest about the way she approached her upcoming college career.
“The first thing I thought was ‘this is ridiculous, and it is not fair’. I know that I at least have worked very hard in my education to build myself up to a point where I feel confident that I can get into college, and I do not need someone like my parents to bribe a college to let me in,” Cupka said.
Lemen said that she was glad that the frauds were caught, because this kind of thing happens everywhere and much more often than people might think. She thinks that this situation will spread awareness to the kind of corruption that goes on in universities.
“Colleges should pay a lot more attention to these issues, because a lot of it is sports coaches allowing these kinds of things to happen,” Lemen said.
Many Lebanon High School students took pride in the fact that they could rely on their own dedication, extracurriculars, and decent grades to boost their confidence when it came to getting into their ideal school.
“I took a lot of hard classes and I took the SAT a few times until I got a score that I liked. I am kind of proud because I actually worked for what I got,” Lemen said.
Cupka has participated in many extracurriculars, including multiple theater productions and holds a position as Secretary in National Honor Society.
“I take really hard classes, I do my homework, and I do not sleep so I can do my homework. I just challenge myself every day. It is a big accomplishment for me because it makes me feel like I have done my job. My entire life, leading up to this moment, is to get to a point where I have a ticket out of Indiana to go to school,” Cupka said.
Morgan has participated in extracurriculars such as competitive wrestling and has been a part of National Honor Society for two years.
“I always have tried really hard in school so that I could get good grades and so I can actually get into college fairly,” said Morgan.
Kassab has been at the top of her class for most of her high school career and is the Vice President of National Honor Society.
“I have worked my way up with hard work and studying a lot, that is basically all there is to it. I am happy and confident that I know I have put in all this time and work,” said Kassab.
Regardless of how much money one is willing to offer, when it comes to college and school, there should be nothing more valuable than pure hard work and determination. In the end, it is those kinds of things that pay off the most.