5 Likely Effects of the College Admissions Bribery Scandal

  • Indictments and Convictions
  • Reputation Management
  • Rescinded Admissions
  • Disability Accommodation Backlash
  • A National Conversation

The college admissions scandal has swept up wealthy and prominent parents, athletic coaches, universities and students themselves in a shocking set of allegations about bribes being used to get students into high-ranking universities. An FBI investigation that is still ongoing has been responsible for dozens of people facing charges that include racketeering, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

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Indictments and Convictions

The most direct and predictable outcome of the college admissions scandal is indictments and convictions of those involved, some of which are already underway. While most of the charges are still technically allegations, two people have already pleaded guilty. The coaches involved have been placed on leave or let go from their positions altogether. Given the volume of evidence that the FBI has assembled in a document of over 200 pages and the cooperation of key players, it is likely that there will be more convictions.

Reputation Management

According to an article in Vanity Fair, there will probably be a scramble to repair reputations. One of the students involved, a social media influencer named Olivia Jade Giannulli, has already lost contracts with TRESemme and Sephora. The challenge will be for people to respond to the allegations without endangering the criminal case against them. One student, who says he was unaware that his mother had hired someone to take an entrance exam on his behalf, has issued a public statement. Others have shut down their social media accounts.

Rescinded Admissions

The applications of students whose parents were implicated in the college admissions scandal are being rejected from most universities, but it is not yet clear what will happen to students who have already been admitted and who are attending classes. It is likely that students who were involved in the scams will have their admissions rescinded. In some cases, students might not have played an active part but may still have signed off on falsified documents. The issue may be more complicated in the case where students were entirely unaware of the situation.

Disability Accommodation Backlash

Some parents falsified paperwork indicating that their children had disabilities that meant they needed accommodations for the tests. There is some concern that the result could be a backlash against these accommodations despite the fact that they are critical for many students who genuinely need them. There could be changes in the type of documentation that is required as well as overall changes in the administration of standardized tests.

A National Conversation

The college admission scandal has already sparked a national conversation about the pressure placed on students to get into the right college, what criteria is used to admit students and class in the United States. An article in Vox points out that while going to a good university can be critical to the success of people from less-wealthy families, these students came from families whose parents’ wealth could shield them from any setbacks. For them, attending a high-value college was more about social status than opportunity. Whether the conversation about these various issues changes anything remains to be seen.

Even though most people are aware that alumni connections and other factors unconnected to academic excellence can play a part in college admissions, the blatant nature of the cheatin, in this case, was a revelation for many. It is likely that all the outcomes of the college admissions scandal will not be fully known or understood for some time.