University bribes are nothing new. However, the 2019 college admissions cheating scandal has shed light on just how prevalent this issue has become.
Bribes affect hardworking students who get left out while other students who might not appreciate the education are accepted. Direct bribes to guarantee children of wealthy alumni are accepted is one of many unethical ways to admit students and it’s hurting the students who work hard for their education.
Sadly, many prominent universities already have limited spots because of university bribes. For instance, when alumni donate large sums to add on to the school, their children might be instantly admitted, even if they don’t always have all the prerequisites.
Other students who have worked hard to earn excellent grades, spent hours every week on community service, and even hold down jobs to save for their education have limited opportunities to attend these universities.
Students who get in thanks to university bribes don’t usually appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given. It’s more of a chance to say “I went to XYZ school.” Sometimes, this just leads to another unethical practice – hiring graduates simply based on where they went to school.
However, these bribery students often distract others. Hardworking students see the others slacking off, but somehow still getting good grades. These students might party more than study, making it harder for other students to study and earn good greats ethically.
Ruins University Reputations
Elite universities are often a dream of hardworking students. However, when scandals break, the reputation of the university could be ruined. Employers might see the school listed and wonder if the student got in on their own merit or just a bribe. Instead of looking great on a resume, this could hurt the student’s chances of work in the future.
Of course, it also hurts the university as fewer students will want to attend. While universities often say they don’t know about the bribes, they usually do, but enjoy the money that comes in.
Reduces College Applicants
Hardworking students might feel there isn’t any point in trying to apply to major universities if they don’t have rich parents or alumni. They might feel like only those who can afford bribes or athletes with scholarships will take up all the available slots. As a result, they might choose to skip college completely. Or, they’ll pick a different major at a much smaller university that isn’t what they really want to do.
Helping Hardworking Students
The best way to ensure hardworking students get the higher education they deserve is for students, parents and teachers to always report any types of bribes. Whether it’s admission or grade-related bribes, this practice is highly unethical. Universities should be ethical places to further teach students to make better choices and be more responsible. Teaching them cheating is acceptable won’t work.
Universities should have anonymous hotlines in place to report issues like this. Anyone who suspects this is going on could report it to the university anonymous hotline, knowing there would be no retribution or retaliation.