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News that #FelicityHuffman and #LoriLoughlin have been indicted in what has been described as the, "largest-ever college admissions scam prosecuted by the Justice Department," by United States Attorney Andrew Lelling has definitely rocked Hollywood, if not North America. For the uninitiated, this admissions scam has seen wealthy parents across the United States pay to have their children admitted to any one of a number of A-list schools, including Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and UCLA, according to Washington Post.
"A celebrity paying for their child to go to an elite school?" you might ask. "No way—that has to be patently untrue."
Unfortunately not, and while some might be shocked that Lori Loughlin—best known for her role as the ultra-respectable, squeaky clean Aunt Becky from Full House and its sequel Fuller House—would even think about paying someone so her daughters could go to an elite school. However, that is what she's alleged to have done, as has Huffman. Is this a matter of the wealthy parlaying their financial advantages so that their kids can have a leg up because they can afford to?
I suspect that in some respects, there are many parents who, if they could afford to give their kids educational advantages, of one stripe or another, would. However, I've often envisioned something like that as simply being able to afford to pay my children's way into whatever school they choose rather than actually bribing someone to get my kids to an elite school.
As it stands right now, Huffman, Loughlin, and some 40-something others are merely indicted in the college bribery scam; while there have been some arrests, these are allegations that still have to be proven in a court of law. It begs the question, though: How far do you go to give your children an advantage in life?
Much has been made of the allegations leveled against Loughlin, which state that she paid "$500,000 to USC to have her two daughters designated as crew recruits to gain guaranteed admission," according to CNN.
Of particular note has been her daughter's reaction to school. Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade is a YouTube personality who attempted to apologize for her 2017 tweet that stated, "it's so hard to try in school when you don't care about anything you're learning."
“I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically. And it totally came across that I’m ungrateful for college—I’m going to a really nice school. And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care, I just want to brush it off. I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school,” she apologized in a video shortly after her now-infamous tweet, according to People.
Huffman is alleged to have paid $15,000 for one of her daughters to take her SATs off-site and for a proctor to correct some of the answers. Her spouse, actor William H. Macy, was identified in the affidavit, but not indicted, and apparently, Huffman opted not to set up the same scenario with her second daughter.
As this college bribery scandal continues to unfold, it is difficult to imagine what the families of those involved must be feeling right now, or what these kids—especially those in the public eye—must be enduring on their respective campuses. How far should a parent go to try and secure the best possible future for their kids?
If the allegations prove true, the lives of the families involved in the scandal, and the reputations of the respective schools, will be irretrievably altered.