Editorial: Wealth dictates admission: Rich Parents abuse the higher education system

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News of the college admissions scandal, in which wealthy parents allegedly cheated and paid to get their children into elite schools, triggered a mix of emotions across the country.

University officials struggle with what the next step is.

For community college students, it’s yet another punch in the gut.

Community college students are often ridiculed and mocked for not attending universities and their accomplishments are regularly deemed less impressive because of this. High school students that aim to attend community colleges are looked down on.

It is difficult to not note the fact that many of these parents shelled out thousands of dollars to illegally buy their child’s way into universities rather than have the supposed status dropper of being a community college student.

It’s an insult to community college students who more often than not fight tooth and nail to earn not just a spot at one of these universities but to earn enough money to even get there.

We, the Viewpoints Editorial Board, believe that the college admissions scandal highlights the fact that the community college students hold a lack of entitlement because they have had to work for everything they have and everything they hope to have.

A newly released study conducted by researchers from North Carolina State University surveyed 6,000 students from 10 community colleges in California, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming to get an idea on the challenges that impede students’ academic success.

The survey found that among the top 10 challenges community college students face including work, paying expenses, difficulty supporting a family and attending college ranked the highest.

Is this surprising? No, not even a little bit. However, it does paint a very discouraging image, especially in light of the college admissions scandal in which one actress’ daughter said that she doesn’t care about school after getting “accepted” into the University of Southern California.

The scope of the problem doesn’t stop at the scandal, which the FBI didn’t even begin investigating until May 2018, either. Wealthy students having an unfair privilege over low income students has been an ongoing travesty.

Children of parents in the top 1 percent of earnings are 77 times more likely to go to an Ivy League college than those whose parents are in the bottom 20 percent, a National Bureau of Education Research study found in 2017.

Many community college students struggle enough to pay their bills and put food on the table, while their wealthy classmates can simply write a check and get what these students will have to work tirelessly to get even half that far.

This scandal reinforces a culture of the wealthy getting wealthier and the poor getting poorer and frankly, it’s a hit that our society won’t recover from easily.

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