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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Thoughts on the College Admissions Scandal

May I just begin by congratulating those who have entered an Ivy League school with a 900 SAT score and a 3.2 GPA? Congratulations. Your parents have money, and you will continue to float on a boat of privilege so secure that you will never even see that those who have been passengers on those wrecked ships and holes, and have joined you on your own, are the true winners. 
In light of the discovery of the recent college admissions scandal, I have some words for prospective college students regarding their hunt for universities. I have some words for you as a student who placed a heavy emphasis on selective universities and a student who valued their worth based on the admissions they received.
I want you to know it doesn’t really matter.
Of course, there are nuances to each scenario—like a certain individual whose SAT and GPA was so bad but he got into Harvard because daddy dearest paid millions to the administration (I’m looking at you, Jared Kushner)—but I want to laugh at the individual I was in high school, a girl who looked to her Cornell, UChicago, Binghamton, and University of Pittsburgh decisions with trepidation. Every day, she would hold her breath while checking her email, or dread seeing a letter in her mailbox. Yes, I based a lot of my worth in high school on which colleges wanted me. And funnily enough, I applied to the University of Massachusetts Boston on a whim because of a suggestion from a family friend—I had never intended to go to this university. It wasn’t until I sat amidst college acceptance letters—and some waitlisted ones—and attended UMass Boston’s Welcome Day, that I realized I would really love to go to this unassuming university. 
And it wasn’t until my first semester I realized that the university you go to, doesn’t really matter in the long term, especially if you are going to graduate school. High school puts a lot of emphasis on colleges, and the media puts a lot of emphasis on selective universities. Selective universities have that aura of prestige around them, but honestly, as long as you’re getting the education, what does it matter where you receive it? Instead of focusing so much on which university will accept them, students should focus on preparing for college instead. After all, if you have a GPA of 2.0 at Yale, not even the Yale label can save you against someone with a 4.0 GPA from UMass Boston. 
And it’s for this reason that I simply cannot comprehend why elite parents pay for their students to get accepted at a school. I mean, come on, you’re paying more for your child to get into the university than you are for the tuition of the university itself. I’m all for doing whatever you want with your money, but seriously? And universities, by accepting bribes you are just making yourself look even more negative. How will you uphold your image of “the best and brightest go here” when you have students that get in on money and not merit? 
I think it’s time we stop giving the attention selective universities thrive on and start encouraging students simply to focus on their education. I think it’s time we stop bribing universities and reach a point in our society where bribing a university wouldn’t even be an option.