Before even starting their first day of college, many first-generation students, people of color, and low income students – and those who fall under all of these categories – feel at a disadvantage. After all, the already-stressful process of college applications becomes even more intense when you have to navigate it alone or worry about the fees associated with applying.
Then there are the constant challenges of income inequality when these students finally arrive on campus – whether it’s having to wait to buy books until financial aid kicks in, or finding that your K-12 schooling did not match up to your peers’. These disparities can cause students to suffer imposter syndrome and question whether they really belong at elite academic institutions. (And if they’re unlucky, they may have also been told by peers that the only reason they were admitted is because of affirmative action.)
The experiences of low-income or minority students in an elitist college system have become all the more stark as news broke about a large college admissions scandal – a $25 million scheme in which wealthy parents bribed their children’s way into prestigious universities. Many have begun speaking out about how an already elitist system, which shuts people out because of low test scores and income levels, is even more broken than they previously realized. For example, actress Lori Loughlin and her husband J. Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters could be accepted to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them row crew. To add insult to injury, one of Loughlin’s daughters, 19-year-old YouTube influencer Olivia Jade, said she didn’t even care about attending college.
“I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all,” she said in a video. “But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
Students like Olivia took spots away from students who deserved and/or needed them more, and yet the dialogue about college admissions rarely focuses on how the wealthy game the system. Instead, the privileged are often quick to point a finger at affirmative action, accusing minority students of taking slots from more deserving white students solely on the basis of their ethnicity or race. As many students of color who surmounted the odds to enter these spaces can tell you, they worked incredibly hard to get into these schools. Yet, they are often made to feel like they don’t deserve to be there.
With people weighing in on the college admissions scandal on Twitter, we scoured the platform to see what Latinxs had to say about the news. We found a variety of reactions, including those who are happy this is out in the open and people who can’t believe they doubted their abilities when they were in college. Check out a few reactions below.