General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

What's the appropriate punishment for the parents who bribed their kids' admission to those elite colleges?

Asked by elbanditoroso (25160points) 1 week ago

As reported yesterday and today, a bunch of rich parents spent lots of money to cheat, lie, and bribe so that their kids would go to the top tier of colleges and universities.

Is this a jailable offense?

Or is this business as usual? (Philanthropist gives $20 million for a building and the grandkid is admitted.)

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23 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Besides jail time, fines should be four years full tuition for 5 deserving students, plus their kid should have to do two years study at a community college to re-qualify.

ragingloli's avatar

All their degrees should be invalidated, and they should be banned from enrolling in any other university, so that they will never be able to get another degree.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that the most serious crime is the tax evasion by claiming the brides as donations. That deserves a fine plus a year in jail.

chyna's avatar

A bit off topic, and you can flag me if you want, if the kid couldn’t get in that type of school on their own merits, how did they graduate?
The parents need to be fined and I agree with paying tuition to deserving students. Also, the student either needs to take a test to make sure they passed on their own merits, or just take away their degree.
I may be wrong, but I can’t imagine the kid not knowing that, in Loughlin’s case, they got in with their “rowing skills”. They had a pic taken on a rowing machine to make it look like they were on the rowing team, which they weren’t.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@gondwanalon – I assume you mean “bribes” and not “brides”.

Jaxk's avatar

This scandal opens a whole can of worms. The idea that no one fails is at the root of the problem. I haven’t heard that any of these students actually cheated on their class work so I wouldn’t agree with any attempt to take away their degree. The Government has chosen to not charge the students or the universities. I would think the universities have some culpability in this and would like to see them charged as well.

The charges for Racketeering and Tax Fraud, carry hefty penalties and should carry some jail time. The students that did the work and made the grades but didn’t get in due to this fraud, can never be made whole. I don’t see how paying the tuition for some other student compensates them.

The system for the uber rich is another matter. Donating a building improves the university and the learning experience for all students. I think that is a good thing and would hate to see that go away.

Bottom line is the perpetrators of the crime should pay the penalty prescribed by law. Anything less or more doesn’t solve the problem.

Demosthenes's avatar

This whole thing is just sad. I got in the old-fashioned way: being the son of wealthy alumni. ;)

But seriously, this is a slap in the face to hard-working students who were passed over in favor of the mediocre progeny of rich people. Money talks, unfortunately. As long as there is a system to take advantage of, the amoral wealthy will find a way to take advantage of it. That said, it takes two to tango. These parents should be punished (I don’t support punishing the students, especially if they were not even aware of their parents’ shady dealings), but so should the people taking the bribes and gaming the system for them. We can’t forget about those on the other side who allowed themselves to be taken advantage of. Apparently, a Stanford coach was involved—for a certain sum of money, he would pretend your child was a star athlete. These people should see jail time, absolutely.

kritiper's avatar

The maximum allowed by law.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This may appear to be a scandal about cheating, but all it really amounts to is a spotlight on the reality that you can buy your way to the front of the line. Everyone knows it. Everyone expects it. Despite the illusions erected, money has always been the assured lubricant to the college of your choice, or the ticket to avoidance of the jail you deserve.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s right. Justice always goes to the highest bidder.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Appropriate?
That College should be investigated for fraud!
And that college should be firing the people involved who took these bribes too.
Not just the parents, since if it was not accepted then they would not had been able to bribe there way in .
Parents probably thought it was acceptable since the College accepted their Donation ( Bribe) unethical as it was.
Curious, if the College GAVE Back the money collected unethically, and the kids involved stripped of their degree’s then what?
The College is at fault for lowering there standards and creating an opening for this to happen in the first place.
Find out exactly WHO ( administrative s) were directly responsible and the College will determine expulsion or not?
A higher body or chair should be checking these on an ongoing basis.
Perhaps the College should lose its Funding ( if they get that) until it cleans up its policies.

As for those parents the truth has been brought to light and public shame is brought on them plus no one will trust them again for sure.
But restitution in the courts should be sought to rectify the wrong. Courts will decide .

Dutchess_III's avatar

The OP wasn’t asking what will happen to the school. It’s obvious what will happen to the school.
He was asking, “If it was up to you what would the punishment for the parents.” They knew damn good and well it was not acceptable.

chyna's avatar

USC tuition with books is 70,000 a year. Lori Loughlin paid more to cheat than actual tuition would have cost.
Whatever her punishment will be, she will be the butt of many jokes for years to come and probably will not work as an actor again.

raum's avatar

Honestly, the most surprising thing about this scandal wasn’t the fact that it was happening. But rather the level of detail they went to to create those applications. Photoshop? Disability accommodations?

I’ve always figured it was more like:

APPLICANT: We have a shitload of money. And we’ll give you some if you accept our kid.
COLLEGE: Cool. Make the check out to Our Prestigious Name Is For Sale College.

raum's avatar

As for punishment, I like a combination of the ideas that have already been presented.

Invalidate their current standing. Have them go to community college before reapplying. Where their application will be made public.

Must donate 2x amount of money (that they used to get in) to a scholarship fund. Though money is probably the least effective punishment for this demographic.

flo's avatar

If this has not been brought up, , are the students still in the universities?

filmfann's avatar

It would be wrong to take away any degree or school credits the child achieved. Certainly the schools are entitled to reevaluating the child, based on how he has done in their classes.
The public shaming the parents are going through is a good start. They aren’t likely to now brag about how smart their progeny are.
I don’t know that I would incarcerate the parents. I would probably just fine the holy hell out of them.

raum's avatar

Re-apply under a pseudonym. If they are accepted, let them keep their degrees.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

They should have community service cleaning toilets and doing other minimum wage jobs for as long as it takes to get the chip off of their shoulder, and realize that it is honest work. I’ve cleaned my fair share of toilets and have no problem cleaning them, its legit work for a legit wage. Humility is priceless and a valuable skill in todays world. Its where the rich try to skip the lessons of life that a salt of the earth employment provides the young.

canidmajor's avatar

@chyna, FYI, there is a thriving market for term papers and essays for sale in any college community, and tests (in larger classes) are sat in for students by ringers.
That’s how they graduate.

chyna's avatar

Was this going on when I went to college in the dark ages? If so, I missed out!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pretty sure it was going on when I was in college, but I felt no need to use any of them.

I know a guy who could barely read and write, but he graduated from college because he had chicks do all of his work for him. I don’t know if he paid them or what. This would have been in the 70s.

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