This week we had a scandal arise with several wealthy personas from, Lori Loughlin from the famous show, Full House, to fashion designed Mossimo Giannulli, bribing Ivy League colleges to accept their children into their schools, specifically bribing school coaches to accept their children on as athletes, which coaches from prestigious schools likes Yale, USC and Stanford, did. Many people have been baffled by this scandal and can’t fathom the educational system to be this unequal. Other people have mentioned other comments. Today one of the invitees speaking in The Daily by The New York Times, mentioned that, the world of college admissions for the extremely wealthy is really complicated, they must score high on SATs, stacks hours of tutoring, get good grades and the list goes on. It is complicated.
Myself, I laughed, while I drank coffee, at both reactions.
You might ask yourself, if you aren’t a minority in higher education, why I laughed and was apathetic towards the reaction of these people. There are several reasons. Let’s start with the comment said in The Daily by The New York Times. It is mentioned that it is complicated for the wealthy to get into higher education because there are SATs required, good grades, extracurricular activities etc, but…isn’t that what everyone has to do? That isn’t a complicated, because the requirements are the same for the wealthy as it is for the middle and lower class. There is one difference though, the wealthy has money to do hours and hours of tutoring, the wealthy has parents and family who most likely are familiar to the application process, they have leverage. Let’s all be frank about the situation regarding college acceptances, politics is everywhere, even in college acceptances. If you know people, you will have a better chance of getting in. If your parents make a million-dollar donation to a school, it is very likely that the school will feel an unobligated need to accept the child. This is the politics of higher education.
As a minority in higher education, now pursuing a medical career, I had to figure out how to study by myself because I did not have the money to buy a tutor to tell me how, I had to figure out by myself how to apply to undergrad and medical school, I had to figure out how to balance my family and school, I had culturally adapt to education, as not only was I a minority by a first generation college student, my family had to learn how to adapt to my extensive hours of studying. I did not have a car during undergrad, I had to wake up at 5am to walk or take the bus and arrive on time to class. I did not have enough to pay for a luxurious apartment, I had to stay in a tiny 1 bedroom dorm for two people. I sometimes didn’t have enough money for food, so I would eat canned beans. Many people say minorities have it easy because we get scholarships, but $5,000 a year does not equate to $500,000 a year.
As a minority, I did not have the pathway into college or medical school paved for me, I had to pave it myself.
This brings me to my second reason for laughter. The system has always been unfair, this isn’t something new, the only new thing is new is that it is in the media, and actual prosecution will, hopefully, occur.
I am not being apathetic towards the reaction of these people, or the struggle that wealthy children have when it comes to getting into college, but I believe it is only just to those that don’t have the resources these privileged children have, to point out the actual struggle of getting into college or graduate/medical school. It is not necessarily the requirements, it is how to complete those requirements, and at the end of the day, the wealthy and privileged have more resources to complete those requirements than minorities. Let’s be honest.