Operation Varsity Blues: College Admissions Scandal

The FBI went public last year with Operation Varsity Blues. This exposed how many affluent families had been using their wealth to buy their children into top schools in the United States. This video interview from Vice showcases students from FLI (first-generation and low-income) backgrounds and legacy students. The interviewer elicits some interesting responses in terms of their attitudes towards legacy admissions and the college scandal. On one hand some students thought that Yale was very inclusive of different backgrounds and that bribery is less moral than donations to the school. However, on the other hand some students believed that there are a host of adversities faced by students that come from lower income backgrounds and that legacy admissions and donations to the school showed how entry into top institutions is not always due to merit.

It is crucial for top schools to realize that admission to their schools does not automatically place FLI students on a level playing field. Many clubs and organizations on campus, which are important for career development, require long hours that cannot be committed too for students that work on-campus jobs. Many people cite things like “affirmative action” to discredit the accomplishments of bright young students from FLI backgrounds. Yet, as this operation revealed, not as many people are as quick to talk about the admission preferences given to the very affluent and students of legacy status. This paints a bit of a double standard despite the fact that many FLI admits often work just as hard if not harder than many of their peers and in the face of adversity.

Published by Magda Wojtara

Magda Wojtara is Junior at the LSA Honors College at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on a pre-med track with a major in Neuroscience. In her free time, she write articles, volunteers at a chronic pain outpatient facility with UM Medicine, does research, competes in HOSA, and, of course, enjoys photography and singing. In her spare time she manages her own travel and lifestyle blog: @journeythedestiantion on instagram and journeythedestination.weebly.com

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