Keeping the Rich in Check

Money. Tests. GPA. Legacy. Hours of hard work. These are some of the things that can get someone into a prestigious school such as Yale or Harvard. But those fortunate enough to have money seemingly don’t have to worry about other aspects of admittance to a school … or so they thought. The rich and powerful using their money to buy their children spots at prestigious universities is inherently and morally distasteful as it cheats other applicants who are equally or more qualified, but who are not in the same tax bracket. And of course, this isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time this type of thing happens.

In mid-March, “Operation Varsity Blues,” the federal investigation into the college admissions scandal, shed light on the rich and powerful using their money to essentially buy their children spots in top-tier institutions. Bribing test prompters, hiring stand-ins to take their children’s tests for them, and even going as far as hiring Photoshop experts to superimpose their children’s faces onto athletes bodies are some of the ways that these parents have gamed the system.

We are not going to be ignorant and say our society isn’t already promoting wealth as a literal get-out-of-jail-free card. But just because this is already happening, doesn’t mean we should just accept this. This situation is clearly unfair for those who worked hard in school and we shouldn’t just idly stand by, waiting for someone else to fix it.

But we as students can do something about this broken, money-driven system. Arming ourselves with knowledge of the situation and questions for those parts that we don’t understand is only the first part of fighting this battle.

The second part is on the administration of these schools. The administration of these schools should worry less about the money they take in and worry more about raising and teaching the next generation of leaders, doctors and other important role models.

With more schools craving diversity on their campuses with race and gender, how about financial diversity? If they preach about getting people from different backgrounds, they should take people who come from low-income families and have so much to bring to the table on so many issues. Taking all your students from a certain demographic, be it race, gender or financial status, will only get you one perspective and no real new ideas.

At the end of the day, we live in a society run by money. And small things we can do to help relieve the system’s flaws, by the students, the administration board or even general law enforcement, can and will help break bad practices and the abuse of wealth, status and power.