"It's a shame that celebrities are taking advantage of colleges this way and setting an example for their children that they can buy their way into anything and don't have to work for it."

By Katie Bingham-Smith
Photo by Lisa O'Connor/Getty Images

As a mother to three teenagers, there is a whole lot I do for them every day, and there is a lot I will continue to do as they get older; I am their mother and I love them.

But, there are also a lot of things I will not do for them, also because I am their mother and I love them.

Pulling strings so they can get into the college of their choice (or my choice) is not one of those things. It's unfair to the other kids who work hard to achieve solid grades, participate in sports, and volunteer on their own. But more importantly lying, cheating, and giving bribes just so your child can be accepted is illegal, unethical, and teaches your kids they are entitled.

The college admissions scam

After news broke that the FBI had charged about 50 people—including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman—in what’s being called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted, people are seeing just how far some wealthy parents will go.

According to People, Loughlin allegedly gave $500,000 to “admissions consultant” William Singer’s nonprofit organization in a scheme to say her child was a crew recruit, when her daughter never rowed. Loughlin is expected to surrender to authorities on Wednesday.

And Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to Singer’s charity to have a proctor correct her oldest daughter’s SAT answers. Huffman was arrested and charged, while her husband, actor William H. Macy was not.

Others named in the court documents paid Singer up to $6 million to get their children accepted into prestigious schools, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California, to name a few.

Another college consulting company speaks up

“I am disgraced by the way families are willing to go as far as bribing schools to get their kids into college,” said Neha Gupta, founder and CEO of College Shortcuts, a company that assists families in the college admissions process. Her consultants have been asked to do things such as “take SAT/ACT, write student’s entire essays, and much more, and we consistently reject them” and lose business, she said.

Instead, their mission is to help students find their strengths, ensure the admissions process is stress free, and help parents focus on encouraging their children to do well in school and find their passion, all in an ethical manner. “We help students who have done the work package themselves, but the concept of fabricating extracurriculars or sending money is unfortunate,” she says.

Should kids be driving the admissions process instead of parents?

While college is a big-ticket item, and most parents want to make the most of it by doing right by their child, I believe we have to remember that they are young adults and should be the one running the show and learning from their mistakes. How in the world could that be possible if we are writing their college essays, or paying universities tons of money to get our children in if they have not earned it on their own?

It's a shame that celebrities are taking advantage of colleges this way and setting an example for their children that they can buy their way into anything and don't have to work for it, but hopefully stories like this will put a stop to such unethical behavior.

No one wants to raise an entitled child who will never fully blossom into an adult. Experiencing how to work hard for something and be responsible for themselves is a big part of that.

How many students who poured sweat and tears into preparing for the college they wanted to get into for years, on their own, got denied because some wealthy person bought and cheated their way in first?

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