OPINION: The lasting effect of college admissions scandal

High+School+seniors+get+ready+to+submit+their+college+applications.
Back to Article
Back to Article

OPINION: The lasting effect of college admissions scandal

High School seniors get ready to submit their college applications.

High School seniors get ready to submit their college applications.

Lara Del Vecchio

High School seniors get ready to submit their college applications.

Lara Del Vecchio

Lara Del Vecchio

High School seniors get ready to submit their college applications.

By Lara Del Vecchio, Art Director

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The college admissions scandal may seem so last year, but applying to college is not. Almost six months ago, Hollywood stars and other big-name actresses, coaches and anyone else who had the money and power to get their children and “athletes” into college, bribed some of the most prestigious American universities in exchange for admission. The court cases are closed and Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman faced their charges, but what now? What about all of the current applicants beginning to submit their applications? Should they be worried about the same thing happening again, or should they be confident that college admissions will finally be unbiased when reviewing their applications?

Class of 2020 seniors are buzzing about getting their applications in by the deadline. Students are squeezing in their last SAT and ACT tests and are finalizing their personal and supplemental essays. All of this hard work is done for the sole purpose of gaining admission to students’ top universities, yet the scandal caused them to question admissions’ fidelity. 

“The college admissions scandal definitely made me lose trust in the admissions process as a whole because it shows how money and fame could influence their decision when it should not be based on that, but based on intelligence and hard work,” senior Aldina Ljesnjanin said. 

Some college applicants who did not play certain sports gained admittance to schools after falsely posing as athletes, while others hired professionals to take standardized tests for them, increasing their chance of acceptance. By doing this, numerous universities denied deserving students who worked hard to show their accomplished resumes and academic rigor and admitted other students based off of lies instead. Those currently applying to colleges said that it makes them question whether all of their hard work is worth it.

Director of Guidance and Student Personnel Services Lisa Hulse said that it is still fairly early to see the effect on the current application review process and that the sense of impact will not be noticeable until students receive their decisions. Hulse does, however, predict that colleges are more thoroughly reviewing applicant information this time around.

“I can presume that college admission counselors are looking closely at the applications, checking up on responses, ensuring that students were indeed members of certain sports and clubs and really analyzing their applicant pools,” Hulse said. 

Hulse and the rest of the West Essex Guidance Team said that they encourage honesty and transparency and wish the best of luck to their senior applicants, especially being the first class to apply after last year’s chaos. 

Students applying to the schools that took part in the scandal said they feel a sense of relief knowing that the process has the potential to be more fair, but still feel let down that it happened in the first place. 

“Since I am applying to some schools where certain applicants gained admission for all of the wrong reasons, I personally feel affected by the scandal but hope that it benefits me and made the admissions process as a whole a lot more fair” senior Amelia Gendel said. 

Anyone applying to college for the fall of 2020 should enter the process knowing that it may not have been fair in the past, but will hopefully shed a ray of light on all new applicants and potential college students.