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GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY

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GC shares take on admissions scandals

 

After a series of scandals related to students—and their parents—cheating their way into well-known universities hit the internet, college communities across the country are left wondering just how common these instances are.

 

The most infamous of the scandals involves Lori Loughlin, a celebrity well known for her role as Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House.” According to NBC News, the actress and her husband agreed to pay $500,000 to better secure their daughters’ chances at getting into the highly competitive University of Southern California. 

 

There is believed to have been up to 50 other individuals involved in similar scams at USC.

 

“To know that that kind of corruption could happen in this system is really disappointing” said Suzanne Pittman, the associate vice president for enrollment management at GC.

 

Pittman, however, said she was encouraged by the fact that none of the USC admissions officers thus far had any knowledge of the scandals, and therefore they could not have contributed to any illegal activity that took place at the university.

 

“I think as a profession, admissions officers have very strong ethical standards,” Pittman said.

 

GC’s own admissions officers are held to the same high ethical expectations. They participate in required ethics trainings annually, ensuring that all applicants’ materials are placed in knowledgeable and trustworthy hands.

 

While this drastic scandal has raised questions about possible hidden scandals within all universities’ admissions systems, nothing along these lines has ever taken place in GC history, and it is likely it never will.

 

Due to size, lack of distinction among athletes and various test score validation techniques currently in place, it would be nearly impossible to pull off such a scandal at a university like GC. 

 

Pittman explained that due to the small size of GC, coaches, admission officers and professors alike are all very familiar with each other, and information would likely spread quickly via word of mouth. 

 

Since athletes and all other applicants are viewed equally in GC’s eyes, lying about an applicant’s athletic ability—as was done at USC—would not benefit an applicant’s chance of being accepted to the school. He or she would still need to perform the same academically as the rest of the applicants.

 

“We’ve never dealt with a situation where we have found out about any of that happening,” said Alison Shepherd, GC’s associate director of admissions. “I wouldn’t say it’s common at all. I think that’s why we’re all in such shock.” 

 

However, Pittman did mention that there are small, perfectly legal efforts students can make if they think they may be on the edge of getting into GC. The school pays a lot of attention to the written essays required on all applications, as well as optional letters of recommendation that may be submitted. 

 

 

Top photo by Emily Bryant | Photo Editor

 

Bottom photo by Alex Bradley | Staff Photographer

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