The University of Southern California has recently attracted national attention for its scandal involving corruption in the college admissions process. Over two dozen parents are accused of bribing college admissions officials in exchange for their child’s acceptance, and USC is one of the schools that’s been most prominently implicated.
The controversy has led many UM students who previously applied to USC to question the school’s decisions on their applications.
One anonymous sophomore said USC was her top choice and that it was the only school out of those that she applied to that rejected her application. When she met with their college counselor and asked how she could get into USC, the counselor replied, “You’re not rich enough to get into USC,” she said.
“It’s an elitist issue,” the student said. “You can pay for a better education, which pays for better connections and better jobs. How are you supposed to move up in the world that way?”
Evan Rakshys, a freshman health studies major, said he applied to USC and did not get in, but that his visit to the campus was far from charming.
“When I visited, it seemed like the type of school that was worried about money and business instead of actual student life,” Rakshys said. “I even heard stories about them pulling financial aid from their students in order to save money, which makes it seem like it’s really more of a business instead of an actual school.”
Other UM students who were admitted into USC said that after hearing about their admissions scandal, they are glad they did not accept their invitation. Freshman Rachel Morin said that she was admitted to USC as a spring transfer.
“I wasn’t going to transfer, but I especially wouldn’t have wanted to after [the admissions scandal],” said Morin, a pre-med and mathematics major.
Though the USC scandal is shocking to some, others are shocked that the news is only coming out now. Freshman Libby White, who had USC at the top of her college preferences, said she was “straight up denied” by USC despite her qualifications. When asked if she was surprised at the news of the scandal, White said no.
“Not at all. I’m surprised that they only just figured it out,” said White, who is an ecosystem science and policy major. “I kind of assumed everyone knew.”
For Vanessa Keushkerian, a sophomore finance major, the scandal was not news either.
“In my high school there were many scenarios where people got into USC not based on their merit,” said Keushkerian, a sophomore finance major. “I know of kids who didn’t get into USC and then their parents would pay and then they would get in.”
Keushkerian was among the students who received rejection letters.
"It didn’t really bother me," she said. "I didn’t think I would get in. But I feel like my chances were definitely altered due to the fact that kids bribe and pay their way in.”
Heidi Steinegger, Ceara Manship, Veronika Seider and Tyler Walsh contributed to this reporting.