Should there be more serious consequences for those who bribe their kids way into college?


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Lori Loughlin (right) and daughter Olivia Jade (left) were involved in one of the largest college scandals in 2019.

By Cherri Tung, Arts Editor

What are the consequences for individuals who are charged with involvement in bribery to get their unqualified children into prestigious  colleges? 

Many of these scandals happen with celebrities. One of the most well known incidents is the one involving Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade. According to Fox News, Jade’s parents were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits. However, they were both released on a $1 million bond and pleaded not guilty.

Nowadays, there are many cases like these but a lot of people are still getting away with it. According to CNN, two SAT and ACT exam administrators, one exam proctor, a college administrator and 33 parents were arrested. 

There have also been college coaches who have been accused of accepting millions of dollars to get students into prestigious schools even if they don’t play the sport. If they wanted to get away with it, they should not have made it so suspicious; it was bound to be figured out sooner or later. 

According to the New York Times, parents who paid $75,000 could get 12 to 18 months in prison, while those who paid $500,000 could get 30 to 37 months. 

Students on the other hand, do not get arrested. They do not face charges until there is proof that they were aware of the fraud. Although they do not get charged, the students can still get kicked out of the school regardless of whether or not they knew about the scandal.

But should the consequences be more severe? 

Yes. There should be more significant prison time. Especially for affluent parents, many can get away with it by paying for bail. Parents who pay more in bribes should receive harsher punishments. Even though these scandals are less severe than other crimes, it is still unfair to those who have worked hard to get into the college they want. 

Nonetheless, parents’ bribes should be charged sentences even if the universities suffered no monetary harm. 

According to USA Today, even if you spend $250,000-$500,000 on getting your child into college, there are more costs than just bribery. There is also tuition of over $50,000 every year. Not only do people have to worry about getting into college but also if they can pay off the debt. College is definitely harder than high school and requires more effort just to pass a class. In the end, money is power.