Wauwatosa West Students React to College Admissions Scandal


Junior Aral Nen talking about the scandal

Sara Stanislawski , Staff Reporter

A recent scandal charges some of the nation’s top colleges for accepting bribery from wealthy parents hoping to ensure their children’s admissions into elite schools.

Through the bribery of their parents some of the select group were able to cheat on ACT or SAT tests to receive better scores and be more likely to be accepted. Others used bribery to get their child recruited to join sports teams at colleges some even had no history of being involved in. 

Some students at Wauwatosa West such as junior Sarah Oliver are upset by the scandal and college admissions process. “The college admission process is unfair because if incidents like this are occurring there are probably other incidents like it occurring. There needs to be a crackdown on scandals like this,” Oliver said.

Many high school students across the country and at Wauwatosa West apply to college in the hopes of being accepted. The majority of students applying scrutinize every detail of application essays, retake admissions tests multiple times to increase their scores, and spend hours studying for classes to maintain an impressive GPA in hopes of being more likely to be accepted. West Junior Aral Nen Jr. knows numerous people throughout the Milwaukee area who do this, but are faced with even more challenges.   

“They work so incredibly hard at their school work trying to get out of their situation but they just can’t because they have to go home and care for their family and then they have to go work two jobs to make ends meet,” Nen said.

Nen believes the overall scandal to be plainly unfair. “I feel like having someone who doesn’t have to do any of that work to come and pass you over is a big disrespect,” Nen said.                                

“It makes me upset they were able to purchase spots for their children because some of their children attending just want to be there for the experience and not the education,” Oliver said. 

Other students at West like Senior Kong Vang have similar feelings about the scandal. Vang reflects on how the scandal reminds him to be proud of what he has accomplished but still upset that people are able to bypass the work many others have to put in.

“I think when you hear stuff like this on the news it causes you to reconsider all that you’ve done, and what your parents have put on the line for you. It puts into perspective how privileged some people can be,” Vang said.

The scandal has changed the way some students view college.

“I used to see colleges as a school you’re going to, but as I’ve grown up I’ve noticed noticed it’s a money and business game like many things in life are,” Nen said.

The scandal has also emphasized the importance of ways students can personally make themselves more likely to be accepted.

“It definitely puts a lot of pressure on me to make sure by grades are good,” Oliver said.

Despite the scandal, Vang remains optimistic and determined to do his best in college as the first in his family to attend. He also hopes to show people what he personally has to offer.

Vang said, “I think going to college as a first generation for my family already has and will continue to motivate me to work hard and to make my parents proud of me.”