Education is not a privilege


Austin W Belet, Opinions Editor


Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and David Sloane have all been under public scrutiny for their roles in the millionaire college admission scandals. The image of millionaires getting jailed for using their inordinate wealth to privilege themselves may bring joy to the hearts of some, for others we see the much deeper problem with the system. 

What we have established as an educational system is one that systematically gives the advantage to those with money over those who don’t. This is a system who asks students why they can’t hand over $2,000 on the drop of a dime, anticipating that our parents have the ability to supplement our education. 

We have a system designed that ensures our families wealth is what ensures our academic success, even more so when you are able to bribe administrator and recruiters for a name on their degree.

It isn’t news to any of us that some degrees are valued more simply based on the university that is attached to it; Harvard, Yale, and Dartmoth are great examples. This notoriety doesn’t just apply to private universities, schools such as UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, and even UF have built an astounding and well renowned national reputation. 

Society has consistently shown that those who can afford these schools are the ones who get to thrive, those who get often get lost in the flow. 

On a brighter note, many of the public universities listed are affordable (compared to average cost of attendance and only for those who reside in their state), but we still built this elite “fast track to the top” kind of route for those who can attend the private institutions. 

So what gives? Why aren’t we mad about this? Well, we tend to do simply fine after we leave our universities, finding comfortable jobs (or perhaps not, but that is for a different article) and think nothing of it. We go about our days working the jobs that we are reasonably comfortable with post graduation and don’t worry about it. 

Private universities often offer greater access to work studies, research opportunities, and persons well connected in their fields of study; a benefit that public universities cannot necessarily offer at the same frequency.  

Is it any wonder that these parents, then, would want to ensure their students get to go to the best places they can?

I cannot find it in my heart to be angry at these individuals who have perpetrated this crime, if I had been in their shoes I likely would have done the same thing. Who wouldn’t? Don’t we want our kids to have the best possible opportunities 

So shouldn’t we be trying to level out the opportunity for everyone to be able to achieve?

Isn’t that the best way to spur development and growth?

Don’t we want our kids to thrive?

Providing for a public higher education system where everyone has access and doesn’t need to worry about going into crippling debt while they try to make themselves, and subsequently the rest of the world, a better place. We should be ensuring ultimate access to these commodities as well as relieving the pressure to compete by forcing people to go through this system. 

If we want to foster growth and innovation, we should be making sure that millions of Americans aren’t hurling themselves into debt for the chance at prosperity. 

Education should be a right, not a privilege. 


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