Students in College Admissions Scandal Express Frustration With Parents

One more twist in an already ornate saga

USC
What did the students caught up in the college admissions scandal think of their parents' actions? Many were not happy.
Brion Vibber/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / January 19, 2020 3:50 pm

When news broke last year of a major scandal involving college admissions, in which wealthy parents engaged in illegal activity to get their kids admitted into prestigious universities, the general response was one of righteous anger. Plenty of people from all walks of life were infuriated at the affluent parents who sought to game the system to make their children even more well-off.

As it turns out, the young adults involved in the scandal aren’t too thrilled about it, either. 

At The Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Levitz and Melissa Korn spoke with Matteo Sloane, whose father Devin was one of the parents charged in the scandal. Matteo was home on spring break last year when his father was arrested; when his father returned home, Matteo was reportedly furious with him, asking, “Why didn’t you trust me?”

Levitz and Korn talked with both Sloanes about the situation. They also note that Matteo’s academic record looked quite good on its own: “Advanced Placement classes, regularly made the honor roll his junior and senior years and speaks three languages fluently.”

Whether one looks at that as evidence of Matteo’s hard work or of the benefits being from a well-off family can have to one’s academic record — or both — it doesn’t seem like the sort of record that would require manipulation. 

And yet here we are: Devin Sloane was sentenced to 4 months in prison, a sentence he’s a little less than halfway through. Matteo, meanwhile, is in his second year of study at USC. He’s not the only student profiled in the piece; Levitz and Korn note in their article that the generational involvement in the scandal differed from family to family.

Some young intended beneficiaries have alternated between lashing out at their parents and reaching out to them for comfort. Some have tried to clean up their stained academic records, or are beginning to hear from colleges after a new round of applications.

It’s one more level of complexity to a scandal that already abounds with questions of class and generational conflict. 

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