The College Admissions Scandal Shows Just How Unequal Our System of Education Really Is

Throughout life as an African-American woman, I haven’t found myself the beneficiary of privilege. I am forced by society to work twice as hard as my white counterparts. In educational and work environments I am underestimated and assumed to have little knowledge. Constantly, I uplift myself to persevere and to surpass the commonly held beliefs of White Supremacy.

In high school, I viewed my applications to college and the SAT and ACT as my golden tickets to success. For years I prepared myself for the material on these standardized exams while staying heavily involved in my high school community. My family taught me to work hard for what I want and blessings would follow.

Recently, celebrities including Lori Loughlin, J. Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Hoffman made headlines due to their involvement in a large-scale college admissions scandal. They “donated” and paid athletic officials ridiculous amounts of money to get their children into universities. Federal officials are forcing them to cooperate and to answer questions during this investigation. Situations like this have gone on for years as common knowledge, but this scandal is bringing it to the light.

Instead of hiring tutors or possibly encouraging their kids to be more involved in high school, these parents paid millions to create false qualifications for their children to get into colleges. The only reason privileged, wealthy individuals feel comfortable doing things like this is that they have a supreme sense of entitlement. For generations, acts like this college admissions scandal have been accepted and pardoned, often on behalf of their European-descent.

This is unfair for the many underprivileged students throughout the world that put in countless hours of community service and studying to earn their acceptance into universities. In today’s society, everything seems to be easily awarded at the right price and given to individuals who in many aspects are not deserving.

According to U.S. News, “income inequality in education has a long history, in large part because so much of K-12 budgets are dependent on local property taxes, meaning wealthier communities with higher tax bases automatically have more money to pay for things like better teachers, AP courses and college counselors – all of which provide a leg up in the college admissions process.” This is a primary reason why many students in marginalized communities have no access to resources nor teachers to aid them in their success.

I am one of these students.

Maintaining a high GPA and being heavily involved in high school was quite the task. Due to me not having access to laptops, tutors or enough capable teachers, school was stressful. Despite my unfortunate surroundings I prevailed and gained acceptance into a prestigious university.  This reflects the reality of many admitted student’s lives, who work hard and receive the fruits of their labor. I believe that we are progressing in America, the color of one’s skin doesn’t wholly depict a future, actions do. But, we still have work to do. Collectively as a nation, we need to continue to highlight matters such as the recent college admissions scandal the inequality in education that they represent.

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