Publisher’s Points to Ponder: College Admissions Fraud

The colleges allegedly involved with the college admissions scandal includes University of Southern California (USC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Georgetown University, Yale University, Wake Forest University, University of San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin. These universities are attempting to contain the impact of unlawful admissions granted to allegedly unqualified students that have prevented the acceptance of qualified students. What does this mean for the credibility of the schools involved and the validity of the degrees purchased by the students’ parents? Should university officials void degrees of all students who participated in the scandal?

The college admissions scandal began with William Rick Singer, CEO of The Key, a college admissions prep company. Singer pleaded guilty to federal charges that involved a nationwide bribery scheme that allowed him to collect more than $25 million. Multiple news sources revealed that approximately 50 people had been arrested nationally including parents, coaches and celebrities, which brought this case to the forefront. The allegations entail changing standardized test scores and bribing exam proctors that allegedly allowed someone other than the student complete the admissions exam to help with admission. The scheme also included the bribery of college coaches who were allegedly bribed to flag students as athletic recruits which would guarantee placement at some schools.

The universities involved in the scandal are taking action steps to remedy the situation as much as possible. For example, the University of Texas (Austin) fired Michael Center, the men’s tennis coach, who is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. He supposedly accepted $100,000 to get a student admitted as a tennis player. The student quit the team after enrolling in school. The University of Texas released a statement, “This appears to have been a singular event involving one UT employee who has since been terminated.” With careful consideration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.UT officials are conducting a thorough review to prevent future violations of the admissions process for athletes and also to determine if the accused student committed fraud on his admissions application.

Some of the students involved in this scandal claim they were not aware of what was happening. If this is proven, do you think these students should be allowed to retain their degree? While the admission to the school was fraudulent, wasn’t it incumbent on the students to earn the required grades to graduate? On the other hand, should the students who were aware of the scheme, forfeit their degrees although they had to work hard to stay in school? Or did they cheat their way through classes, too? The feds state the admissions scandal is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Share your thoughts with us.

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