Everything You Want to Know About the College Admissions Scheme: Essay on Education

ABC News gives viewers everything they need to know about the current college admissions scheme. The admissions scheme involves some major universities such as The University of Southern California, Stanford, Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown, and many more. After a 10-month long investigation by the FBI there were files charged against 50 people including famous actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. The admissions scam involves parents paying large amounts of money (from $200,000 up to $6.5 million) to ensure to get their kids admitted to elite or top universities. The schools involved would succeed in doing this by admitting the children as recruited athletes, even if they didn't play sports, and help students cheat on or outsource their standardized college exams”. William Rick Singer orchestrated the scam and has pleaded guilty many charges that could lead to a maximum of 65 years in prison. Students from many colleges and universities including Sandford have filed for, what they hope will become a class-action lawsuit against William Singer and the universities involved.

The author of ABC News’s article, “Everything you want to know about the college admissions scheme” is Elisha Fieldstadt. Elisha is most defiantly bias toward the people and universities involved in the college admissions scheme. I can tell Elisha is bias towards the scheme because she only points out negative aspects and goes into great detail on how the scheme was able to take place. Elisha provided many dates for the events that took place, people’s names that were involved and the amounts of money used in bribing. She goes on to say that the scheme has “ignited a national conversation” about the role’s money, privilege, and people’s positions play into America's college application process. 

The college admissions scheme is on a Macro level. The scheme is on a Macro level as opposed to a micro level because it involves large scale social structures that affect the lives of groups and individuals. College would be the large-scale social structure and college has a major impact on the lives of individuals or groups. Due to the fact that the college admissions scheme is on a Macro level, the Structural Functionalism, Social Conflict, and Feminist theories could all apply. Out of the three theories, the Social Conflict Theory best fits the college admissions scheme. 

The Social Conflict Theory, inspired by Karl Marx, sees society as an arena for inequality which creates conflict and change. It says that society will forever be in a conflict due to competition between one another for limited resources like, money, companies, property or raw materials. Society does not just compete for materialistic resources though. We also remain in conflict due to competition for intangible resources such as time off, social positions, positions of power or Intimate partners. The individuals and groups within the society basically work to maximize their own needs, wants, or benefits. The Theory sees competition as the default in society as opposed to cooperation.

In the Social Conflict Theory, order is created and maintained by elite power or someone in a higher position. The Social Conflict Theory, otherwise known as Marxism, sees change in the world as normal and can allow inequality to serve a purpose in society. The purpose of inequality serves people differently depending on their class. The Social Conflict Theory revolves around concepts of Social inequality as well as conflicts within or between classes. Social inequality is the unequal distribution of wealth or power, which ultimately allows for competition. The Social Conflict Theory focuses mainly between two classes. The Bourgeoisie, who are the higher class or are in control, and the Proletariat, who are the lower class. The Social Conflict Theory contains the view that those who are in a position of power, will seek to stay in that position of power. Those who are in the position of power will do this by using their power. The ones in power will also use their power to influence society in ways they feel fit. The Theory is structured to benefit a smaller, higher, more powerful group in society (referenced as the Bourgeoise). This leaves the larger, less wealthy group (referenced as the Proletariat) in their expense. 

The Social Conflict Theory and the college admission scheme connect really well. The Social Conflict Theory supports the idea that society will forever be in a conflict because of competition for some sort of resource. In this case, people are competing to gain the achieved status of a college student at an elite university. The Theory also says that those who are in a position of power will use this power to influence society and maintain the held position. In the college admission scandal, the “rich” or Bourgeoise, are using their power and money to help their children gain the status of a college student at an elite university. Due to the Bourgeoise doing this, it disallows the “poor” or Proletariat from gaining the status of a college student at an elite university. The entire point of the college admissions scheme is to allow families of the higher classes, into the universities so that the families can continue to look superior. When people in society are competing for a spot at an elite university, the person who is richer, in a higher class, and better known is most likely to get the spot. 

The Critiques given to Social Conflict Theory by the three other main theories of sociology vary. A critique given to the Social Conflict Theory by a Structural Functionalist would be that society cannot run smoothly or like a “well-oiled machine” if everyone in it is in constant competition. Someone who believes in Symbolic Interaction would say that the Social Theory ignores Micro-sociology. People who support the Feminist theory could also say that the Conflict theory ignores the Micro-sociology. They could also say that the Social Conflict Theory could potentially reduce inequality between gender. 

I choose the ABC News article, “Everything you want to know about the college admissions scheme” by Elisha Fieldstadt, because throughout high school I have gained strong feelings about how stringent the college acceptance process is. Although I did not apply to any “elite” universities, I have close friend’s that have gotten deferred or put on the waiting list at some of the schools involved. After reading this I am extremely disappointed in the college admission process, I feel bad for my friends that applied to Duke, Harvard, or Standard knowing that they might have gotten in if it wasn’t for the scandal. I thought the article really went the extra mile on giving details about the scheme. My feeling towards the scheme have stayed the same before and after reading the article.



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