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On Wednesday, March 13, The Sentinel-Record -- our hometown newspaper -- provided its readers with facts about what is being called "the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice."

The story broke nationally on Tuesday, March 12, but has remained in the headlines every since.

Along with the names of some of the 50 people charged in the $25 million bribery case, the local daily's Associated Press story cited some of the educational institutions involved in the scheme that reveals how wealth and privilege often overshadow merit and hard work.

The news was shocking to some degree but not entirely since we live in an age where undue power and influence create great inequities and so many persons use any means available to achieve their goals.

Without question, the news accounts show that high jinks often obscure high standards and finaglers form unsavory partnerships to get around following the rules. And the most galling thing is that somehow more and more individuals feel no hesitation in doing what is expedient rather than what is right.

Despite what they may think, the parents who are reported to have engaged in this admissions' scandal have done their children much more harm than good. They have put status above moral values and they have eschewed ethics and fundamental decency.

They are shameful role models whose sons and daughters -- whether they knew or did not know about the subterfuge -- will become forever associated with the wrongdoing.

Cheating and cutting corners to try and gain admission to a prestigious college or university have been reported for decades, but now that we have been made aware of just how widespread and egregious it really is, there is no doubt that much needs to be done to correct our national psyche on so many fronts.

It is painful to consider how many truly worthy students were denied entrance into a college of their choice because their places were taken by other students who were aided and abetted through fraudulent means.

And it is agonizing to think about the burdens of debt so many graduates bear today because they came from moderate or poor families and were forced to take multiple loans to complete their degrees.

Competition for a college seat is good because it forces applicants to prepare for required exams and to research the criteria for various schools. But when the competition is totally unfair and just a sham, higher education loses its integrity.

We trust that the news media will stay with this story as developments warrant and that parents, educators, legislators, and community leaders will find ways to improve the admissions' process and system to the benefit of all.

Editorial on 03/17/2019

Print Headline: 'Admissions' of great guilt

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