The College Bribery Scandal of 2019/2020

Jasmine Lee, Staff Writer

College is the last step of education and requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Beginning in 2011 until they were caught in 2019, a group of parents managed to bribe officials to guarantee their child’ acceptance into a superb college. This scandal has been dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues”.       

Rick Singer is the mastermind behind the scandal. He is the CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, which offered college counseling services. He started to invest his time in the tutoring business. Parents would pay an abundant amount of money to Singer so he could rig SAT scores and create fake resumes to impress colleges. “It’s frustrating because so many people deserved the college position when it was stolen from them,” states seventh-grader, Luna Khazem. Singer is currently pleading guilty and is facing a sentence of a maximum of 65 years and a fine of $1.25 million. 

Over 50 people are accused of this crime. Only 31 have pled guilty while the other 22 are still fighting for their justice. The list consists of coaches, parents, and school executives. Many sentences were given at the beginning of 2020. Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, two high-profile defendants, are involved in this scandal, but Huffman has pled guilty while Loughlin and her husband continue to plead not guilty. Loughlin is an actress best known for her role as Becky in the sitcom, “Full House.” She has two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, and supposedly paid Singer to improve their resumes, which may have assisted in them getting accepted into USC. Huffman is an actress best known for her role in the TV show, “Desperate Housewives.” She allegedly paid $15,000 to improve her daughter’s SAT score. Huffman, who pled guilty, went to jail for 14 days in Dublin, California and has recently been released with a $30,000 fine.

Overall, these parents have been discriminated against for cheating and will be served with jail sentences and possibly fines, if convicted. states, “The schools caught up in the admissions scandal say they’ve taken steps to prevent it from happening again.” Hopefully, these situations will never occur again and the students who deserve acceptance into prestigious colleges will receive it.