Editorial Cartoon

How much are parents willing to pay, or jeopardize, to get their kids into college? The answer is, in some cases, in addition to obscene tuition costs, parents are willing to risk millions and go to jail. 

I’m not sure that parents bear full responsibility for their actions. In some cases unscrupulous hacks are feeding parents with a crock of bull in an effort to allegedly get their child into and in front of the proper people for admission and/or scholarships to college. 

We heard stories about the rich Hollywood elites who paid athletic directors and admissions counselors to get their kids into prestigious colleges like Stanford. 

Some ultra-wealthy elitists allegedly paid upwards of half a million to get their kid accepted and are apparently willing to pay the $75,000-a-year tuition. 

To get accepted into schools like Stanford, you need a combination of three things: You need to be exceptionally smart, be an exceptional athlete and you need a boatload of money. If you’re not smart enough or don’t possess the athletic ability or don’t have enough money, you can’t get in. Unless, that is, of course you are willing to lie and cheat; but, it’s college not politics. 

In one case, transcripts were forged and submitted under the theory that a child was good in a particular sport. Their image was Photoshopped and the coach was paid off. That scheme was uncovered because that child never played sports, and now they are all looking at fines, embarrassment and jail time.  

College is very expensive and kids will be saddled with debt forever. The federal government, in its infinite wisdom, started handing out student loans like joints at a Grateful Dead concert. And students are borrowing as much as they can get. Colleges know this and are increasing tuition faster than ever before. 

Parents, in a way to try to offset the skyrocketing tuition, will listen to every yahoo who comes along with the intention to help defray costs. These hacks set up camps, tryouts and post stuff on social media about kids in a very unprofessional attempt to get a kid noticed while bilking unsuspecting parents and grandparents out of money. The hacks tell parents that little Johnny has talent and they can go a long way if they allow the hack to promote their child ... for a fee, of course. Meanwhile, little Johnny doesn’t know which end of a bat to use. 

Parents need to be aware of hacks. If your child has what it takes to get money for college, you will know from a legitimate educational institution. If someone asks for money to get your kid noticed, or tells you they will have scouts at a camp or a tryout where you have to pay to enter, it’s a scam.

Save your money and understand that there are millions of kids vying for what little scholarship money is available. 

If your kids work hard, they may get rewarded by being noticed by a credible education institution that will offer financial assistance, without you doling out cash. Tell the hacks “no thanks.” 

And don’t be fooled by thinking that you can beat the system to get your kids in places they don’t belong. Aunt Becky will be rethinking her decisions soon from her jail cell. 

Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.

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