‘I honestly wasn’t surprised’: Archer reacts to college admissions scheme


Emma London

College pennants hang in the hallway. Last Tuesday, top universities including Yale, Stanford and University of Southern California were revealed to be part of a scheme that the FBI dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”

By Emma London and Liz Haltrecht

In an affidavit released on March 12, 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigations [FBI] indicted 50 people of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The FBI titled this case “Operation Varsity Blues.”

Fraudulent acts ranged from doctoring images of students playing sports to cheating on the SAT and ACT.

Senior Rae Godfredsen said she “wasn’t surprised” by the scheme.

“I’ve heard about little scandals here and there from other students at different private schools,” Godfredsen said. “It’s really upsetting that people who are undeserving can get the leg-up in the process.”

The colleges involved include Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California and Wake Forest University.

“It’s so unfair and disheartening that big college institutions are accepting this and welcoming this corruption,” Godfredsen said. “I’m really curious to see how they handle the scandal.”

Like Godfredsen, senior Ella Tollman was not surprised; however, she was frustrated and upset.

“I don’t think it paints a really positive picture of the Los Angeles private school[s] and these institutions, coming from [a school] where I don’t know of anything going on like that around me,” Tollman said. “Everything is within a mile radius of one another and I think it definitely hits close to home.”

Many students were upset because the children were accepted to schools “because of their money,” freshman Lexi Tooley said.

“It’s crazy that people go to such lengths to get their kids into these colleges,” Tooley said. “It’s sad because the colleges rejected students that were probably ten times better for the spot.”

Director of College Guidance Gabrielle Dorsey wrote in an email interview that the scheme was “unfortunately not actually that shocking,” but would most likely have little impact on Archer students going through the applications process.

“For those of us who work in the industry, we have seen an increased level of stress, anxiety, and in some cases desperation, from students and parents alike to get into a ‘brand name’ school,” Dorsey wrote. “In the end, it only hurts students by pushing them to focus on things that are far less important than having a productive and happy childhood, and by promoting the idea that only a small number of specific colleges can offer future success.”

This story was originally published on The Oracle on March 20, 2019.