I Grew Up With The Wealthy& Connected–Here’s Why The College Scam Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone* Betches

I’m a person who’s followed celebrity news since I was a kid( like, I had subscriptions to Us Weekly and PEOPLE in fourth grade ), and even I did not anticipate the celebrity college admissions scandal blowing up like it has. When the news first transgressed, I was like, “Perfect. Now that Aunt Becky is relevant again, I can segue more easily into the story about how two women at Friendly’s said I was a dead ringer for her when I was 16. ” Also, if we’re being honest, I would drop $500,000 just to not have to endure the shame of having a child who unabashedly calls themselves a “YouTuber” and “influencer.” But beyond that, I was pretty unfazed about the news, because where I grew up, people have been fleecing the college system for years.

Full disclosure: I come from a WASP-y family. I was created to not take that identity severely, but to actually find humor in it. That resulted me to writing satire for a society website called Guest of a Guest , where I make fun of the culture and the people who try so hard to swindle their way into itall the time. I even make fun of myself for falling prey to it: I actually attained the GofG list of “Most Pretentiously Named Socialites, ”my dog is literally related to the Kennedy’s dog( plus I had relatives that worked for that administration ), and I attended a boarding school at which their own families boasted a really long legacy( although I only lasted a year ). But thank god my family promoted me to form my own identity, because otherwise, that would’ve induced me the biggest douchebag.( I’m still a douchebag because I attain snarky statements about celebs for a living and literally highjacked an article about this scandal to talk about how someone once said I look like Aunt Becky, but at least I’m not wearing a cashmere sweater draped around my shoulders while doing it .) My parents and grandparents would be disappointed if I was too lenient on the WASP identity because it’s tacky and lame to go into superfluous detailed information about that lifestyle, but for the sake of illustrating how common it really is to game the college admissions system, I’m willing to risk sound gauche, because it does need to be aired out.

First off, I’m proud of the family I come from, because while we were all given a great education, my grandfather taught us humility and the importance of a good work ethic. For the record, my family never once tried to buy their way into schools they didn’t deserve a place at, and I am grateful they didn’t. Having access to great education and other perks is wonderful, but my mothers actually wanted to instill in me that there’s so much more to life than going to a name-brand undergrad program straight out of high school.

But I grew up surrounded by and summering with a lot of ritzy prep school kids who didn’t share the same beliefs( even the fact that I use the word “summer” as a verb is a huge tell ). So I guess that stimulates me a ritzy prep school kid as well. I took a gap year after high school and did a programme designed abroad, and the very first day of my program, I talked to a girl who went to an upper-clas New Hampshire boarding school( I’ll let you figure out which one ), and she made it very known that she was attending Harvard in the autumn. We took class at a tutorial college and she would skip class and refuse to do homework because, “I’m going to f* cking Harvard.” Ok, Elle Woods.

But some things she said would stimulate me severely side-eye. This chick was all too open about how lavish her family’s lifestyle was and how liberal her dad was with his AmEx( only later on, he got tried for larceny ). Ok, whatever. But one big piece of info she kept quiet about? Her grandfather was the president of a foreign country. Yeah. So I had to wonder if she got into Harvard solely on her own merit.

This is not just me being salty–Harvard literally recognizes the fact that they allow in wealthier people in hopes of getting more money from them, as if they need it. I even recall asking my parents how the hell our neighbors got all three of their children into Harvard. Sure, they went to a really great New York prep school, but they also let the Harvard squash coach stay in their guest house for the summer.

I have tons of anecdotes like these, but I’ll save the remainder for my book. When I was having dinner with my mothers after this whole story broke, I went into the conversation supposing it was funny as f* ck that these people were finally getting called out so publicly, while my parents were disgusted. Huh?

I brought up the narrative about my neighbors, and my mom said, “That’s different. Those children are smart.” Is it different, though? It’s simply use your privilege, wealth, and access to get what you want. Maybe overt wire fraud isn’t involved, but your hands are not entirely clean.

What’s even funnier to me is that my mothers were outraged by Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman pay someone to falsify their kids’ SAT ratings. I don’t insure the big difference between that and donating a house, or devoting free lodging to somebody who works at the school. And whether you’re committing blatant fraud, or just hurling money to get your kid into a school you’re not confident they could be accepted to on merit alone, you’re doing a disservice to your child. Like, I know a girl whose dad is a higher-up in finance, and he procured her a chore where he works, along with an elite education. When it came time to take the CFAs, she couldn’t pass the test, even after her third day. So she wasted her time and energy( and Daddy wasted his money) on a career she wasn’t cut out for, and she had to endure the dishonour of being fired from a company at which her father is a huge mover and shaker. I’m confident she’s not the only story like that. I entail, Olivia Jade scarcely went to class at USC after her mama expend hundreds of thousands( and risked prison time) to scam her route in! Do you think she was really going to graduate with honors and a situate career track in anything but makeup videos? No. An upper-clas education, a trust fund, and two brain cells to scratch together can’t ultimately ensure you success.

But ultimately, what I think should be on trial here is the antiquated educational system that American society shoves down our throats. This stifling structure should be questioned because merely a small percentage of kids actually thrive in that environment, and it’s sad that mothers are wasting fund to force their route in. It’s a harm to their kids’ personal growth, and pretty much everyone’s personal growth, that everyone is think graduating college by 22 and adhering to a suffocating system like that is the only way to be successful in life. The VP of Google( F* CKING GOOGLE) even said that having a high GPA or going to an elite school has never been an accurate litmus test of whether or not you’d be a promising employee there( yet they funnel in Ivy League grads with 4.0 ’s so…what the hell ?). But until we realize that it really does not f* cking matter where you go to undergrad, wealthy, connected people will continue to finesse their wealth and connections to get what they want–just like they do in every other facet of society.

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