West Students React to College Cheating Scandal


By Christina Lappas, Editor-in-Chief

News outlets began spewing out stories regarding an alleged college cheating scandal involving celebrities such as actress Lori Loughlin and actress Felicity Huffman. The two celebrities are amongst roughly 40 people who supposedly partook in this misconduct. These various individuals are accused of paying a variety of people in order to aid their children’s college-career along in hopes of gaining admissions into prestigious colleges such as Yale, Stanford, UCLA, Georgetown, and University of Southern California.

Some specific accusations against Loughlin include paying nearly $500,000 to get both of her daughters — Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose — into University of Southern California on behalf of the crew team while neither of her daughters rowed on the crew team. On the other hand, Huffman was accused of paying nearly $15,000 in order to help her daughter cheat on the SAT. Phone records relating to the accusations have been obtained by the FBI.

Some students at West thought that this was a predictable situation.

“I feel really annoyed about this situation but I’m definitely not surprised,” senior Alba Note said. “I feel like this happens way too often and it’s finally getting public attention because it was a celebrity who did it.”

A lot of students think it was really unfair for these individuals to pay their way into college rather than getting in based off of their merit.

“I think the whole situation is really unfair because those students whose parents paid their way to get their kids into these really good schools took that opportunity away from a hard-working student who actually deserved to go to that school,” senior Sarah Malina said. “Initially I was shocked because I already knew that there was an issue with wealthy people paying their way into top-ranked schools but I didn’t realize that it was to this extent.”

Student Services and College Career Resource Counselor Daniel Gin urges students to stay true to themselves amidst this scandal.

“I only read about it in the newspaper and it’s shocking. These high-profile people are trying to get their kids into college,” Gin said. “I think it affects our kids because they feel like they’re being cheated out because their parents may not have the money so they have to find other avenues. I will always say to the kids ‘Do what is right every day, work hard in the classroom, and you’ll still find a college.”‘

West alum and current USC student Elaine Tran was not shocked by the news, as USC has been involved in multiple scandals in the past.

“While I agree with this, I feel these celebrities’ actions resemble that of many students who are paying for expensive standardized testing classes or even tutors that read over application essays, wealthy students whose parents make sizeable donations to the school to have their child legally admitted, or even students ’embellishing’ their resume,” Tran said. “The pressure to get in is tough, and while the people involved in the scandal have certainly gone too far, they are not the only offenders to the system.”


Contributions made by Divitya Vakil