In our opinion: College admissions scandal is a gross lapse in integrity

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  • deseret pete Springville, UT
    March 24, 2019 9:40 p.m.

    the way you begin to correct this is for the perpetrators to go to jail and a hefty fine.

  • Strider303 American Fork, UT
    March 22, 2019 5:46 p.m.

    I enjoy the feigned "shock" that this is news.

    There has always been a "back door", "I can get it for you wholesale" portion of our society. In the past admission of a marginal student of an influential person were called "legacy" admissions, or "athletic scholarships" in the past, or even today.

    There are unqualified students in just about every "higher ed" organization. Otherwise there would be no reason for remedial courses, private tutors, extra credit, and soft to very soft majors that have little or no marketability or preparation for post college life.

    I submit the only people harmed are the corresponding number of student who were "on the bubble" for admission and were denied. As their number is legion, who is to say a specific person was truly harmed.

    Life is full of disappointment, get used to it.

    Life can also be unfair. See previous expected response.

    All will be well if the miscreants go on Oprah, or a late night talk show and confess. Tears optional, enrollment in some type of service organization for a few months is a bonus.

    Hit the start button on the 15 minute clock, this too, shall pass.

    Now, back to the NCAA tourney....

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2019 8:18 a.m.

    It's certainly frustrating when you find out that revered institutions have been acting dishonestly.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 19, 2019 8:21 p.m.

    I still don't get why all the pompous outrage over this issue as some sort of gross failure of morality.
    It was fifty people, all cheating to get their spoiled children into colleges where I'd probably grouse about the cost of parking, let alone tuition.
    I am not affected, nor surprised, nor outraged for some reason over this. America is basically a pay for play society. Where this system fails me, and all of us, is that our politicians are every bit and more as morally bankrupt as this admissions scheme. The NRA, big health care, big pharma, big tobacco, and so many more groups and industries all buy access to our politicians so they can get favour to allow them to make usurious money with policies and products that do us all harm.
    That's the moral outrage. Let's work on that, and whomever wants to send their brat to Yale can work that out on their own.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2019 9:30 a.m.

    Your statement "... outright cheating and influence peddling can give financially privileged students an edge over those who deserve entrance based on merit." ignores the fact that universities thrive on marginal candidates with money, influence or sports ability. Equal footing is a myth. It is elite universities that are enablers of the corruption and parents with low integrity will always take advantage to game the system, legally or illegally.

    Financially privileged parents also send their children to camps where they learn to take standardized tests for college entrance. Where does that stand on the spectrum of fairness?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    March 19, 2019 8:41 a.m.

    Our country has become and then tired and entitled Society. Integrity is lacking.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    March 18, 2019 6:50 p.m.

    CHS 85 - Sandy, UT
    Why is everyone feigning such outrage over this scandal? This has been going on for centuries. I guess it wasn't as big a scandal in the 1950s and 1960s when kids got into Harvard and Yale and Wharton on the coattails of their fathers and their "donations."

    Please explain why all the pearl-clutching now?

    Because in the modern age, it is no longer the case that a high school education is sufficient for a trade/career prospect that will provide for a 'comfortable' living.

    College is required, for a large number of career paths, despite the few luminaries who became billionaires without such. Those few are essentially lottery winners in the career sweepstakes.

    With the conservative goal of minimizing or eliminating 'free' education, with Ronald Reagan sounding the initial shots, this has resulted in all educational institutions raising their 'prices' by 100s of percent. So, given that one is going to pay significant sums for one's children to be given the opportunities that a college education affords, then it is clear, having one's children attend a 'big name' institution will be better for the marginal increase in tuition and fees.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    March 18, 2019 6:41 p.m.

    3grandslams - Eagle Mountain, UT
    Universities must enter the free market. They have become glutinous.

    Stanford, University of Southern California (USC), Harvard, Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown, University of San Diego(USD), are all private universities, presumably being operated with 'free market' principles. Two of which are affiliated with a religious denomination.

    UCLA is part of the University of California System, and University of Texas Austin, are part of the respective states' colleges and universities.

    The 'free market' seems to tend to 'favoritism' as a means of income production, and of course, in such institutions as Trump University, along with a number of 'private' trade oriented organizations, fraudulent or grossly misleading claims.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 6:39 p.m.

    It seems that this only became worth looking into while politicians are promoting the idea of "free college" for the masses. Another volley in the class war.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 18, 2019 4:27 p.m.

    @CHS 85.
    You said, “why all the pearl-clutching now?”

    Answer: this is predominantly about white privilege and the need for some to actually pay for it.

    But, these kids would have graduated in a soft major that would have allowed them to pass with sub-standard work. Then, society learns to avoid them when real work is needed.

    The much, much bigger scandal would be people bribing school officials to get their kids in engineering or medical school. Those are real life-and-death professions. But, those schools would never accept bribes. Hmmm. At least, I hope not.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 18, 2019 3:21 p.m.

    Why is everyone feigning such outrage over this scandal? This has been going on for centuries. I guess it wasn't as big a scandal in the 1950s and 1960s when kids got into Harvard and Yale and Wharton on the coattails of their fathers and their "donations."

    Please explain why all the pearl-clutching now?

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 18, 2019 3:12 p.m.

    This brings up a lot of shame for me. I photoshopped a picture of my head on the body of a missionary when I applied to BYU. It didn't work but I had no business trying to deceive. Lesson learned.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 18, 2019 12:24 p.m.

    The academic community has destroyed their own credibility over the last decade by pushing "politically correct think" over real scholarship and research. Now we see that they are also simply hypocritical, greedy, and corrupt elitists.
    It will take a long time to restore credibility.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 11:36 a.m.


    Currently (part of the corruption); is that sports stars don't have to pass their classes. So long as they make money for the school playing on the team (or via "donations"); doesn't matter what they do for classwork. Collegiate sports is about the money not about the education. Colleges couldn't care less about education anymore; its all about the money.

    Which is true not only for sports, but in other portions of the school; such as in the science field; all about which tax dollars that they can collect for their "research studies" including contradictory studies (like the recent egg study); or useless studies (like the superheros and villains pictured on cold cereal boxes). Etc.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    March 18, 2019 11:02 a.m.

    I have to wonder how the students who got into college through bribery are able to pass their classes. Maybe we are just seeing the first layer of this scandal.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 18, 2019 10:10 a.m.

    Politicians accept "donations" all the time from developers, nuke waste companies, Big Industry, etc. to do favors for them. Maybe the colleges are just preparing them for a political education?

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 9:29 a.m.

    Corruption breeds corruption. Ever wonder why politicians are so corrupt? Because they are trained that way in colleges.

    Colleges have been extremely corrupted for decades. Of course this particular scam is only one small itty bitty symptoms of the corruption of colleges.

    One way to handle this and other corruption cases (and start to put colleges back on track to be higher education); would be to require colleges to be open to EVERYONE, up to their limit size; and either on a first-come first served basis, or a lottery basis. Require classes and professors to teach academics without the use of a "bell curve" (which ensures people will fail). And finally, for sporting programs to assemble teams based on the studentbody's skills.

    No more paid positions. No more special privileges for a few.

    Even scholarships should be handled by third parties (not the colleges) to ensure some students who may otherwise not be able to afford college can. With the only deciding factor to enroll a student is if he/she can make the payment. No more grades and standardized test scores, no more special waivers for sports stars, and no more bribery!

  • gatsby Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    This op-ed focuses on the ethical missteps of college administrators, coaches etc., but what's so shocking and disappointing to the behavior of the parents involved. I cannot imagine that these parents really felt they were doing their kids a favor, in the long run, by bribing their entrance into college. After all, if these kids aren't qualified, getting in the door is the "easy" part...staying and surviving the hard part. And now that these kids know (if they didn't before), that their acceptance was illegitimate, how do they ever hold their heads up? How do they ever trust their parents again? In what possible way are their parents preparing for them for the inevitable ups and downs that every life involves? Healthy self esteem, comes in large part, from learning to solve problems, and these parents are robbing their kids of experiences that they need to survive in life. As a parent of 2 high schoolers, I know that the pressure to get into a 'good" college is unhealthy in our society, but I can't help but feel that these parents were thinking of themselves and not their kids--on the surface at least, it seems to be about parental pride

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 8:14 a.m.

    This has been going on forever and now all the sudden its a scandal? Ppppffttt.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2019 8:13 a.m.

    The "elite" universities have created a market for this type of cheating and Mr. Singer was playing to that market. It is not surprising even though it is unconscionable and exposes the lack of integrity on the part of parents and admissions committees. To imply that the universities involved didn't know what was transpiring when they value someone who plays sports above someone who does not is laughable. My alma mater is "shocked and disturbed" but their feigned innocence does not resonate.

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 18, 2019 8:00 a.m.

    An additional scandal is politicians offering free tuition. Universities love this idea because it’s an open door to increase tuition rates, it’s a program to line university pockets with government money.

    Universities must enter the free market. They have become glutinous.