SAT Celebrity Cheating Scandal

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) has 5 subjects with questions fit to determine a students academic skills

College Board [Public domain]

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) has 5 subjects with questions fit to determine a students academic skills

Diana Venegas, Journalist

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Year after year, students take their SAT. This test determines a student’s readiness for college. Though you cannot fail the test, you can get a low enough score to hurt your chances of getting into college.

It can be taken multiple times so you have an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Top schools schools such as Harvard, Yale, USC, etc, require the results of an SAT. The test can be nerve wracking, not only for students, but parents as well.

For actress and mom Felicity Huffman, plus 50 others, the uncertainty of the test was so daunting that they paid thousands of dollars for their children to get a perfect score on the SAT. Freshman Maria Gentiles commented on the scandal, “They probably doubted their child’s skills and just want an easier way into college instead of getting in on their own knowledge.” But, who was taking and passing these tests?

According to USA Today, Mark Riddell, a former tennis player and Harvard grad was the one getting the grades for the students. Rick Singer was (as many news outlets have been calling him), the mastermind behind the elaborate 7 year long scam. The Washington Post exposed a father willing to pay $75,000 to make his daughter pass and said, “She’ll think she took it” in the process.

It was also said on CNN that each test taken was paid for with anywhere from 15,000-75,000 dollars which were concealed as charitable contributions.

The 50 people accused of bribing college coaches, athletic officials, and college admission officers were arrested following an FBI investigation according to The Cut. Junior Ivanna Orozco Gomez, who has recently taken her SAT, says she wouldn’t be proud to get in a school from a scam would rather earn it with her “skills and knowledge in working hard in high school.” She also believes both parents and students should be punished, “I believe the parents should give money to the schools to help those students that need money for their education.”