Essay Response To The College Admissions Scandal By Prossack

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The level of competition for college admissions have been constantly high, especially for Ivy League schools. Students and families go great lengths in order to secure their education in a prestigious school, believing that this would get them further ahead in life. Lou and Griggs’ article, “Acceptance rates at top colleges are dropping, raising pressure on high school students,” further accentuates the competition with the evident decrease of Ivy League school acceptance rates in contrast to its continued increase of applicants.

The rising struggle for admissions has elevated the standards wherein students are not just required to have exemplary grades and GPA rating, they must also display holistic distinctions. Extra-curricular activity is a must along with non-school related activities such as socio-civic engagement. The pressure for students to get into their desired schools are overflowing to their parents, and they are putting matters into their own hands to secure the success of their children. “The College Admissions Scandal” by Ashira Prossack displays this manifestation as over-involved parents veer into unlawful ways to ensure the slot of their children. Money and connections are brought to the table as several deep-pocketed parents and celebrities use bribes and favors to secure their child’s admission. Money is a tool used to open doors of opportunities. However, money itself is never the problem, it is merely a tool used for good or evil. It is agreeable that money can be used as a tool to enhance the chances of their children being admitted through expensive preparations such as private schooling, tutoring from the best teachers, and undergoing admission test preparation programs, but it can also be used to rig the system. The college admissions scandal may have shed light on how the privilege people can use their money to cut corners, but it also puts in centerstage the susceptibility of corruption in the administration process.

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The real problem is not money – it is the current admissions system and educational system. It must be governed with integrity and more preventive policies must be put in place for such inequality to halt. The article depicts the scenario of a rich kid, who bribed his way in, meant robbing someone more deserving of that opportunity. While this may be true, there are certain controls to be made to ensure that the admission of those who are most qualified, most brilliant and has the most potential can still be protected. For some schools, there is a set percentage of admissions for scholars by merit and for scholars by financial status. This predetermines a set condition and is able to shield off the creative efforts of those who wish to cut in line.

While the article demands for a reform of the system, it fails to recognize that efforts to make education equally accessible has long been at work. Millions of people born in the lower class have benefited from scholarships allowing them to enter in Ivy League schools. Hundreds of thousands of community colleges and technical vocational schools are setup to further expand the reach of education to the poor as well as trainings on wheels. Massive supplemental efforts have already been made to minimize the cost of college for the majority, it is the rich who strive to compete for prestige to maintain one’s social status.

One can see the increased applications to continue to skyrocket, and the tight competition to further escalate. Competition is a positive thing; it only goes bad when it is not managed well. The real reform needed should focus on demanding integrity and controls in the administration process. The parents may have resorted to unlawful acts, but it is the administrations head that also permitted it.  


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