Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are being charged in a large-scale college entrance exam cheating scam.
Gimme a break.
Wait, no, that’s not right — no one from that show was implicated in the enormous college-admission scandal. Yet.
Just Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky from “Full House”) and Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo on “Desperate Housewives”) on the TV-show front.
But there are scads of other powerful people on the list of those charged in the case, which involves accusations of paying bribes to get kids into top-flight colleges.
And I feel stupid, like so many other “normal” parents out there.
Here we are, exhorting our kids to study, to work hard, to do anything and nearly everything they can to get into a good college. Meanwhile we scrimp and save and look for worthwhile SAT classes and study prep and campus visits.
More on the scandal:
What dopes. Why didn’t we think of bribing a good college with a truckload of money?
Oh, that’s right. Most of us don’t have a truckload of money. And what money we do have, we spend a big chunk of trying to ensure that our kids are prepared as well as they can be. Then we trust them to do their best, because getting into a good school is something they have to earn, not us.
Unless, evidently, they’re rich.
That’s the one thing the people federal agents charged in the scandal Tuesday have in common: money, and lots of it. There’s fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli (Loughlin’s husband), partners at equity firms, investors, presidents of companies, those sorts of high-rollers.
Who can blame them, really? It’s not as if rich people already had advantages the rest of us don’t enjoy.
That’s what’s really galling. If you have the money to bribe your way into college, you already have so many advantages it’s almost impossible to quantify.
Certainly elite schools already are populated by plenty of kids whose parents, if they didn’t actually buy their children’s way in, certainly greased the admissions process with loads of cash. If your grandfather built a library at Yale, well, you may not need to score as high on the SAT as the girl who sits next to you who studies till midnight every night after coming home from the after-school job she picked up to help pay for the college-prep course she signed up for on the weekend.
She’s the one who’s really getting cheated here.
Colleges are insanely competitive, now more than ever. Scholarships, academic and athletic, are highly coveted, and the race to get them is both a marathon and a sprint. You don’t want that B+ in your freshman-year math class to come back to haunt you. Meanwhile, you have to make sure you get good tape from your club volleyball team to send to coaches — yes, for the vast majority of athletes, it works that way, rather than coaches coming to you, despite what happens in football and basketball.
Oh, but if the accusations are true, this bunch cheated these kids, too. Pay a half-million bucks to pretend your kid is on the crew team to get into the University of Southern California? Or watch your daughter fight her way through rehab after tearing her ACL just so that she has a shot at making it onto a team at a smaller school, just because she loves the game so much?
The former sure sounds easier. But the latter will make your child a much better person in the long run. At least that kid worked for what she got.
Every parent wants what’s best for their kids. Some lucky ones have the means to make that easier. And for some, even that’s not enough.
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