OUR VIEW: The fundamental truth about college admissions


Actress Lori Loughlin (center) with her daughters Isabella Rose Giannulli (left) and Olivia Jade Giannulli are seen in Los Angeles, California, on March 23, 2017. 

Editorial Board

Fifty individuals have been accused in what is being called the largest-ever college admissions scam prosecuted by the Department of Justice, including actress Lori Loughlin.

It’s weird for us to see Loughlin, known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis or America’s “Aunt Becky” in ABC sitcom “Full House,” doing something this unethical in real life. She was always the voice of reason on the show, giving the girls advice on how to handle life. What she didn’t talk about, however, was how to illegally get your kid into college. She foiled Uncle Jesse’s plan of getting their twin boys, Nicky and Alex, into a prestigious preschool in a season 6 episode of the show, so this scam is ironic. 

Right now, we’re sitting in a room of students who worked incredibly hard to get into college. We all knew that some people were getting spots at universities that weren’t necessarily deserved; that’s kind of common knowledge at this point, but it doesn’t make it sting any less.

It seems like these accused parents missed a fundamental truth about college admissions. Getting into college isn’t really about how smart you are — it’s about actually caring. Because so much of college admission is based on ACT and SAT scores, the amount of effort students put into preparing for those tests ultimately plays an outsized role in determining which schools they can get into. That’s totally disregarding the financial element, which of course limits most American high-schoolers’ college options.

Anyone can check out an ACT prep book from the public library and study it for a couple weeks to improve their score by several points. That doesn’t cost anything, and from experience, it works. If these celebrities and wealthy cheaters wanted their children to get into prestigious schools, they would have been better off investing in a library card than an expensive scam. Because after these students illegitimately get into school, they have no idea how to put learning into effect.

This scandal isn’t so much of a slap in the face to “smart” students as it is an insult to people who work hard. If you admittedly don’t care about college, as Olivia Giannulli (Loughlin’s daughter) confessed online, you probably should not be there. Students who aren’t “smart” but show effort every day belong in college much more than lazy valedictorians.

If you have that much money to spend on a bribe, then you have that much money to spend on a tutor. Parents, not just celebrity parents, should put the well-being of their children ahead of anything else. Does the well-being of children mean subjecting them to a bribery scandal? No. It seems that decisions like these are made to benefit the parent and to reflect on the parent rather than the child.

Whether the students knew about what was happening or not, at the end of the day, it falls on the parents who were not willing enough to give their children the resources to fairly get into college when they clearly had the means to do so.

We understand that you love your child and you want what’s best for them, but if your child can’t get into a particular university, then maybe, just maybe, they aren’t meant to be there.