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Does Congress Need to Investigate the College Admissions System?

Should Congress investigate the college admissions system?

by Countable | Updated on 3.13.19

What’s the story?

  • Actors, wealthy parents, elite college coaches, and college-prep executives are accused of bribing sports coaches and administrators to get students admitted to institutions like Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and USC—regardless of academic or athletic ability.
  • Now, some lawmakers are calling for investigations into college admissions.
  • Commentators are also noting that wealthy buying their way into higher-ed is nothing novel: like presidential advisor Jared Kushner, who got accepted to Harvard after his father donated $2.5 million to the university.


  • Here’s the list of people with their respective charges and indictments.

What are people saying?

  • Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) told CNN he was “pissed off and appalled” by the scandal.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate and a former school teacher, expressed her outrage to ABC news.
“This is just stunning,” she said. “I mean, the notion that people thought they could keep cheating like this and build this, evidently build this huge cheating network in order for the children of the rich and the powerful to make it into fancy schools. To me, it’s just one more example of how the rich and powerful know how to take care of their own, and everybody else just gets left behind. I think that’s wrong.”
  • Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tweeted that this was exactly why he introduced the REDUCE ACT.
  • David M. Perry, senior academic adviser to the history department at the University of Minnesota, wrote that the real scandal in college admissions isn’t only what’s illegal, but what’s legal as well.
“The behavior described in this alleged fraud should be punished. But on a broader and more basic level, the case also sheds light on deep inequities in our college admissions system. Because if someone can get their kid into Harvard by buying a building, let alone by committing any of the alleged acts emerging from this case, the scandal isn't just what's illegal, but what's legal as well.”

What do you think?

Should Congress investigate higher education? Do we need to reform higher ed? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(266)
  • Joe
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Congress can’t even condemn their own member’s misdeeds, let the states deal with the colleges.

    Like (43)
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  • John
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
    ···

    A good argument for free public education with ample necessary funding.

    Like (36)
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  • Glowurm
    Voted Maybe
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Isn’t that under the purview of the Department of Justice already? Need we do double duty here?

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  • causeaction
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Ah, once again, good folks.... we are a Constitutional Republic built on democratic principles with (at least, in principle) three separate but equal branches of government. Congress' job is to oversee and legislate. Period. We have (or we used to have before it became weaponized, as it has been) a Justice Department (and their related law enforcement agencies) whose job it is to investigate and enforce the laws of the land. The last thing we need is more Representatives grand-standing, spinning, and mugging for the cameras while not doing their sworn duty. And ditto to a lot of the other comments - like Joe's; but John, I hate to tell you, there isn't anything that is "free" except perhaps the love of your family and the family dog.

    Like (27)
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  • burrkitty
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    Fraud is already illegal. The laws already exist.

    Like (25)
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  • Leslie
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
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    NO SHIT SHERLOCK! TOO MANY THINGS IN AMERICA ARE FOR THE RICH. WHAT'S LEFT OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE POOR ARE SICK OF ALL THIS CRAP. REPEAL THE TAX LAW PASSED BY THE REPUBLICANS TO FAVOR THE RICH IMMEDIATELY

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  • Phillip
    03/13/2019
    ···

    The role of congress is to legislate (make laws and policies). We have the judicial branch that oversees the enforcement of those laws. The only thing within Congress’s power would be to enact new policies and or laws that would reduce or cut out federal funding to universities that are caught knowingly and willingly participating in a scheme of this nature. Now if it is a single employee is participating in this type of scheme without the university having knowledge of their actions then the university isn’t knowingly and willingly participating and should not be punished unless they fail to take action against the employee when they get caught. I have not read anything stating that the universities knew what was going on and they’ve also taken action against any employee that was caught so any policies would only affect if this happens in the future. I think it would be a waste of resources and taxpayers money to have congress investigate this.

    Like (9)
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  • Brian
    Voted Maybe
    03/13/2019
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    This should be done by DOJ.

    Like (5)
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  • J. scott
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    There is no College Admissions investigation by Congress required or necessary. The FBI apparently has it well in hand and I’m satisfied with the outcome.

    Like (23)
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  • David
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    It looks like law enforcement is doing just fine without Congressional interference.

    Like (8)
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  • August
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
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    This is not news, just the truth leaking out. All Ivy League colleges and all major universities with a big sports program need to be investigated.

    Like (6)
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  • operaman
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
    ···

    So, does Congress investigate the Hollywood elitists? I earned my degree the old fashioned way...study...study. By all means, let's take a look of the rich and famous.

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  • Thomas
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Insofar as virtually all large research universities receive substantial state and federal support, they have an obligation to deal fairly with the public. It is offensive that taxpayers might subsidize the super wealthy in a very direct way.

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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
    ···

    OPN “VARSITY BLUE” SHOWS PRESIDENT TRUMP IS NOT THE BLAME. I agree with this being the "largest college admittance scam ever charged by the Department of Justice,“ being conducted by the not only by the “HOLLYWOOD” But MANY other Rich Elites. As the report revealed, it was apparently the Rich Elite’s who’ve perpetrated the illegal bribery in getting their children into the Elite’s schools of higher education with their vast amounts of money. * Some defendants allegedly bribed athletic coaches and administrators to falsely portray their children as athletic recruits, others bribed administrators to allow cheating on college-entrance exams. * Two actresses — Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives" and Lori Loughlin of "Full House"— were charged alongside dozens of others. * An FBI official said during a press conference that approximately 300 special agents from the FBI and IRS set out to arrest 46 individuals this morning. At least 38 have been safely taken into custody, 7 are working toward surrender and 1 is being actively pursued. Among the people charged are 33 parents who paid "enormous sums" to ensure their children's' entrance and 9 coaches. Other parents are believed to have been involved. * Officials say parents spent between $200,000 to $6.5 million to get their children into the high-dollar schools. * Lelling said that the colleges are not of interest in the ongoing investigation which for me is amazing. * Aren’t they a it curious of is going on in their staffs actions? * Aren’t they a bit concerned in the readily available proof of students getting admitted through illegal eligibility or testing occurring? * Will any corrective action be taken against those who conducted the illegal activities? Probably not....... * OR it just a case that money is overriding their desire of creditability as it appears to me. So bottom line Leftist commentators President Trump is not the blame, it’s the All too often seen, elitist mentality that money is the key to,getting everything that they want and the heck to those not so affluent. SneakyPete........ 👎🏻👿👿👿👎🏻. 3*13*19...........

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  • Gretchen
    03/13/2019
    ···

    No. Colleges and Universities are able to monitor themselves. People such as the organizer of the scheme need to be found out and prosecuted. Congress can’t deal with what they are charged to do. Congress can barely do oversight. Way to political. Keep politics out of state issues. All colleges and universities should not be stained by this scandal for every college involves there are ten that do their job. Congress stay out take care of your own house.

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  • Loretta
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    We have laws in place already❗️Congress can’t even take care of a President who has broken more laws than you can count!! Nor can they censure bigots in their midst. Why should they take the time for this???

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  • Jason
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    No, the US Attorney’s Office is already on this. Congress should be using it’s time to make Constitutional laws and serve the needs of their states and districts, not go off on another fruitless, money wasting investigation. All we see from Congressional investigations is some ridiculous grandstanding from wannabes and no substantial conclusions. Do the people’s business please. That’s your job.

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  • Tinee
    Voted Yes
    03/14/2019
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    A high quality education should not be for sale to the highest bidder.

    Like (4)
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  • RjGoodman
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    No, the States should handle this, the federal government has other things to focus on.

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  • 480G
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
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    Is there already a law in place? Did people and organizations violate that law? Do we have law enforcement and courts in place? Why the hell do we need to waste Congress time with this? Anyone remember that huge waste of time and resources when Congress investigated baseball? Why do we keep doing this?

    Like (4)
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