College Admissions Scandal: Operation Varsity Blues


Quinn Hughes

It seems a bit comical that most assume that only typical high school students are the ones who are stressed about getting into college. On March 12, 2019, the FBI indicted 50 famous and highly paid members of the business and media worlds. Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, who broke the law by cheating the system and buying their children’s spots in college, are among those charged.

Many sources conclude that this case is the Justice Department’s largest ever prosecution in relation to college admissions fraud, which has involved more than 200 FBI agents across the country.

At the center of these crimes is William Singer, who operated a college scamming business called Key Worldwide. This organization was sought after by many affluent parents who wanted their children to obtain admission at some of the top schools in the country.

Singer promised to ensure a successful college admissions process. However, events ranging from a proctor correcting their child’s SAT or ACT test, to bribery of athletic coaches at various institutions, was the main tactic used.

We do not know all of the events or details to date. We do know that the FBI started gathering information in 2011 and there is clearly more to come.

This past week only a few stories have been heavily publicized, describing the surface of what has truly taken place. William Singer admitted guilt and wore a wire which gave the FBI many leads to pursue in their investigation, and to allow the go ahead on indicting all the list of parents.

All I can say at this point is we cannot be putting blame all in one place. While we can easily say the parents were responsible for using their money to spend on their children to broaden their chances of getting into these colleges, we cannot overlook the fact that there is stress when applying to these schools.

We cannot overlook the fact that some of the children were aware of something suspicious at play. We cannot overlook the fact that some of these colleges still admitted these students into their institutions and may have looked the other way.

We don’t know what may lie in store for many of these parents’ children. Some of these kids have said they don’t feel like they have earned their diplomas after hearing about what their parents did to get them into school, while others still attending school are facing possible suspension or expulsion.

University of South Carolina will deny admission to any students found to have cheated in any of these unethical practices.

There is much we don’t know, and new discoveries are being made everyday. More to come as this story progresses.