Even though it’s been weeks since the Varsity Blues scandal broke, parents and professionals still want to talk to me about the situation. There is a lot of joking going on—How much would you charge to get my kid into school?—followed by a lot of good humored laughter. But of course each conversation ends with a sigh, and a shake of the head, and a remark about how disgusting the situation truly is—and how it’s certainly not a laughing matter.
Here we have students who have every advantage available: private education, tutors galore, test preparation, writing coaches, independent counselors—and still the parents felt the need to game the system.
It’s been all about getting in. But to me, one of the most salient issues overlooked amidst this media circus is the lack of money for many, many less advantaged students to even attend college—never mind the part about getting accepted. Even if a student from a family of simple means gets into school, how are they supposed to afford it?
It’s in our national interest to help educate our students, no matter what their background. Certain state schools do a valiant job of trying to combat the inequality.; New York, for example, makes a great effort to recruit students to their various campuses through incentivized programs. Now it’s time for private schools to do the same—to offer our less privileged students the opportunity to get a college degree and achieve a foothold and mobility in the workplace.
Perhaps the guilty parties involved in the Varsity Blues scandal should be made to provide the finances for multiple students to attend and graduate from college—not their own children, but those who are college able but not college bound.