Applying to college in the United States is a process I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
Students like me who come from middle-class to low-income families bust their asses throughout high school to be considered for “selective” colleges and universities.
You have to be dynamic, as admissions officers might say. You have to check off all of these boxes just to apply. Then, you have to be different. You have to show interest in academics and extracurriculars and then be personable and intelligent during your interview. All the while, you must apply early to make sure you still have a shot.
You do all of this only to receive numerous rejection letters by the last week of March — or at least that’s what happened to me.
I played the viola for 10 years and was a cheerleader for five. I founded a blog for my high school and hosted our radio show. You’d think that hard work would have counted for something.
At times, I would even bank on the fact that I’m Ghanaian, not even Black, to spice up the sound of my identity a little bit. And that’s minuscule compared to what other students do to stand out from the pool of applicants.
As I kept receiving rejections, I actually believed something was wrong with me. I wanted to get into one of these prestigious schools because my classmates in high school never treated me like a person who would become successful.
I started doubting everything: God, my parents, my worth, my intelligence and of course, my future.
So as you can guess, Temple University was not my first choice.
And now that federal agents uncovered a group of privileged and wealthy parents who allegedly paid bigwigs to ensure their mediocre children got accepted to some of the same elite schools that rejected me like Yale and Stanford, I’m livid.
There are so many smart, ambitious and hard-working students who have had to settle on a less selective school because they couldn’t pay for the resources that would’ve guaranteed them a spot at their first choice.
In the scandal that involves actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz and vineyard owner Agustin Huneeus, they cheated to get their kids to the top. Meanwhile, a Black girl from Florida had her second SAT scores, which were significantly higher than her first, used against her; she was accused of cheating.
It’s heartbreaking to me.
These wealthy parents robbed capable students of spots in top-tier schools because they wanted themselves and their kids to look good.
Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the show “Full House,” and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid a total of $550,000 to get one of their daughters into the University of Southern California, Vox reported last week.
Instead of celebrity parents spending money to cultivate their children’s primary education so they have a better chance at getting good grades, they leave their dumbass kids to have fun and then pay their ways into college.
It is sickening. But it must be nice; people in the lower-middle class can try to reach these selective spots, but with each rejection, we constantly get reminded of our place.
Life isn’t fair. So we all just have to keep doing our best with what we have, with the hope that this scandal can be the last of its kind.