A college education, especially one in an Ivy League school or another school of similar reputation, is a dream for many students in America. Not only is it hard to get admission in these colleges because of stringent requirements, it is also extremely difficult for students and families to pay for the fees, room and board, books and other materials, etc., for the educational journey. When celebrities use illegal means to try to get their children into the well-known universities, it deprives other deserving students from being able to get admission in these institutions and it also hurts the integrity of the education system. These actions must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and the perpetrators must be given exemplary punishment to send a strong message to society.

America is the land of opportunity. As children grow up, they learn that with hard work, the sky is the limit. A sound education is a key ingredient for success. Many children grow up and aspire to attend some of the most reputed schools in the country, and be a part of a thriving learning environment, to gain the knowledge and skills to succeed in life.

However, the rigorous admission requirements of top universities and colleges mean that only a small subset of highly-qualified applicants gain entry.

Furthermore, not all families have the means to send their children to the best universities and colleges in America. Even if parents save money for years for children’s education, the increasing costs associated with university education present many challenges.

Additionally, many students have to work to earn money to finance their education. Many students take out large loans, creating a burden that must be repaid, most of the time in installments for years, once they leave the university.

But then there are some highly privileged individuals who want to access top colleges for their children and add qualifications to their resumes by spending money in illegal activities. Celebrity Felicity Huffman was convicted of paying someone to fix her daughter’s SAT exam. Huffman served a prison sentence of 11 days.

As part of the same nationwide college scandal, actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, have both pleaded guilty. The couple has been accused of arranging a total payment of half a million dollars to an alleged criminal mastermind to get their daughters recruited to the University of Southern California as athletes on the crew team. None of the girls participated in the sport.

When cases such as these come to light, hard-working Americans and their children, who have to work hard and struggle to go to college, are shocked. Many studious and talented individuals lose hope, thinking that their hard work would mean nothing when celebrities can adopt unfair and illegal means to get their children to top-tier colleges and add qualifications to their resumes.

Convictions and guilty pleas, such as in the cases of Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, send a message to America that justice would prevail. But many people also ask how widespread these problems are and whether or not there are others who may have committed or are committing similar crimes and are still undetected.

The integrity of the education system must be maintained. It is through education and hard work that younger generations succeed and thrive, and create a better world. The education system must exalt the bright and talented students, across many fields of study, and allow them to pursue knowledge. Anyone who hurts the trust that people put into the system by engaging in criminal activity must be punished.

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