College Scandal: Did Parents Get Enough Jail Time?

Cecilia Sanchez, Staff Writer

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Courtesy of ABC News
Felicity Huffman leaves the federal court with her husband William H. Macy after being involved in her college admission scandal.

Wealthy parents who paid their kid’s way to get into the best colleges in the United States are horrible people. 

The Varsity Blues Scandal was when the government focused on the 33 indicted parents. Those parents were willing to pay between $15,000 and $75,000 per test, which went to college entrance exam administrators who helped their children cheat by giving them the correct answers to the exams. 

Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty and admitted to paying $15,000 to raise her daughter’s SAT scores by using a SAT proctor who changed scores. Huffman received short jail time of 14 days, fined $30,000, and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service. 

Huffman was given the easy way out. She is a successful actress with a net worth of $20 million. She received a fine which she easily paid that same day. Huffman should have had more jail time and given longer probation for her poor decisions. 

Senior, Alexander Popoca states, “I believe Felicity Huffman should have been given a longer jail time to prove that rich celebrities can pay the same price as anyone else.” 

According to NBC News, Kelly Williams-Bolar, an African American single mother, was sentenced to five years in prison for using her father’s address to get her children into a better school rather than the dangerous neighborhood where she lived. Although, her case was later suspended by a judge who gave her 10 days and three years of probation. 

What happened to  William-Bolar is something that happens way too often within minority and poor communities. It is crazy how drastically different the sentencings are with Huffman and Bolar. Minority students who often work twice as hard with fewer resources to get into elite colleges are afraid someone who is wealthy can just take their spot. 

Businessman Devin Sloane, paid $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California and was “recruited” as a water polo athlete. Sloane told the judge he, “wanted what was best for my son.” 

Are they doing this for their children or their own status? 

Talwani, the appointee to the U.S District Court of Massachusetts, has given out seven sentences so far. Soane received four months. Talwani sentenced the couple, Gregory and Marcia Abbott, to one month in prison. Abbotts paid $125,000 to have their daughter’s exam question fixed to get into Duke University. 

As seniors come closer to completing college apps, we question if our spot will be taken away from us by people who are wealthy. Senior, Michelle Ayala, has stayed after school for the multiple late nights to work on her FAFSA and college applications. 

“It’s surprising these people aren’t serving more than a month in jail. Wealthy people shouldn’t just be given a slap on the hand when they’ve clearly crossed the line,” said Ayala. 

This is not the first time it has happened and will certainly not be the last. The amount of media coverage on this college scandal has opened people’s eyes. It just proves how certain people think money is the solution. When you have to pay your way out of jail I think it just shows how unfair the judicial system really is

These are real crimes that deserve longer sentencing. Time needs to be given no money.