I was listening to a podcast today on Spotify titled, “Gangster Capitalism”. This podcast caught my attention because it all episodes are centered around the college admission scandal involving some high-profile actors, their spouses, and business men and women. These benefactors or students in this story, are all kids whose families are among the most wealthiest in the U.S. Listening to this podcast shed new light on the subject for me because there were families who paid anywhere from 15k to upwards of 500k dollars, all for the sake of their children to falsely gain admission to elite colleges, whom they were never qualified for in the first place.
It’s very disheartening to learn that the main person who set up all the meetings, strategies, and eventually structuring of payments, knew how to work the system, who would help him work it, and knew any work arounds that needed to be done in order for the affluent to gain access to their school of choice. Going to an affluent school didn’t exempt these kids from failing; another cover-up to the scheme of the century. For a price, you could get a transcript change as well as make a near perfect on the standardized test of your choosing, all you needed was money.
The podcast presented real-life tape recordings recorded by the FBI between some of the parents and the ring leader of the scheme discussing what they needed to do in order for their child to gain additional time for test taking over several days, how they were going to give their child a separate bubble sheet to fill in the blanks in order to not interfere with the “real” answer sheet…. and of course that answer sheet would later be changed to reflect, at times an almost perfect SAT or ACT score. For an additional price, one’s image could be photoshopped to depict you playing as a member of your school’s football team…but wait your high school didn’t even have a football team…..so how did this get past admissions????
Monies paid for services were taxed as charitable donations, as if the parents were giving the money to a taxable charity in which they would be able to right off at the end of the year. Legal letters were sent out to the families by the companies tax attorney’s thanking them for their donation…and oh by the way, no goods or services were received in return for this donation…
How about being apart of school clubs which you supposedly helped give thousands of volunteer hours throughout your four years of high school to benefit those in need….but you never even stepped into a club meeting. Listening to parents compete against other parents over the phone with the proctor about how they needed transcripts, test scores, and access to certain schools just didn’t sit well for me. There are so many kids who want and strive to succeed, those who don’t have the money or affluence afforded to them to walk to the front of the line, and yet this man has been performing these services for over 20 years!!! yikes…. Cheating is never the answer to life. I can’t wait to see how this will unfold.