Things That Matter

College Admissions Scandal Mastermind Reportedly Told Parents To Lie About Ethnicity To Further Advantage Their White Children

New details have emerged from the college admissions scandal that made headlines back in March. According to the Wall Street Journal, William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind the scandal, encouraged his clients to lie about their child’s race on applications to boost their chances of getting into elite colleges. He specifically told parents that to change their white child’s ethnicity to black or Latino because not doing so would put their children at a “competitive disadvantage” to other students.

A new report on the college admissions scandal is showing just how far the privileged will go to take places in higher education from students of color by any means necessary.

Elite colleges have long given preference to athletes and children of former alumni. Singer took notice and advantage of a new trend in college admissions, schools seeking students of color.

The son of Marjorie Klapper is one student who changed their racial identity as an advantage. He was reportedly falsely listed as being black and Hispanic on his Common Application, which includes an optional box where applicants can note their race or ethnicity.

Last Friday, Klapper plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors allege she paid Singer $15,000 to have a proctor take the ACT for her son in 2017.

In one instance, an application “may have been based on a tenuous connection, such as a distant relative of Native American ancestry,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. Yet according to that same source, “There was nothing Native American about this kid.”

The scandal has opened up the hot button issue of race being a factor in college admissions.

Credit: @aldeneducation/Twitter

Race being considered a major factor in college admissions has become a hot-button issue since the college admissions scandal broke back in March. The scandal has also shed light on affirmative action and the realities that many minorities face getting into top colleges.

While lying on college applications may not be a crime, schools can take disciplinary action over the false statements. The families embattled in various federal investigations face charges related to bribery or test-cheating.

At a court hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said Singer’s schemes included “lying about students’ ethnicities and other biographical information in an attempt to take advantage of perceived benefits from affirmative action and other programs.”

Singer then, responded that “everything that Mr. Rosen stated is exactly true.”

In the aftermath of the college-admissions scandal, the SAT will now include a new measure for privilege beginning this year.

Credit: @flippedhatnupe/Twitter

Along with scores measuring math and reading levels, the test will include an “adversity score” that indicates a persons social and economic background. The score won’t be shown to students and will be reported only to college officials, according to The New York Times. Race will also not be a factor in the score.

The college admissions scandals involved over 30 parents trying to get their children into elite colleges.

Klapper is just one of the 33 parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged in the admissions scheme. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that parents paid $15,000 to $75,000 to Singer in exchange for manufactured test scores. One student’s parents even paid $6.5 million to get their child into Stanford University.

This latest revelation about racial misrepresentation adds to a story that has brought national outrage over privilege. The college admissions scandal had also ignited a debate about diversity and legacy status in the college admissions process.

READ: The College Cheating Scandal Highlights The Different Paths Many Face Getting To College

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Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

Things That Matter

Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

In just a few months, college freshmen will be descending on their campuses across the country. One of these students is Elizabeth Esteban who is the first person from her indigenous tribe in Mexico to be accepted to an Ivy League school.

Elizabeth Esteban is going to Harvard and it is a major deal.

Esteban is a member of the Purépecha tribe, an indigenous community from Michoacán, Mexico. Esteban is the first member of her tribe to be accepted into an Ivy League university, where indigenous representation remains small. Esteban’s parents work as farm laborers in the eastern Coachella Valley in California.

“Well I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News.

Not only was Esteban accepted into Harvard, a prestigious university, she also received a full-ride scholarship. Esteban’s family is part of a community of hundreds of Purépecha people who relocated to the easter Coachella Valley in search of work and a better life.

Esteban plans to study political science.

Dr. Ruiz Speaks with State of the Union Guest, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School.

Join me for a live conversation with my guest for tonight's State of the Union, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School!

Posted by Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Esteban wants to make a difference in her community. As an indigenous woman, Esteban wants to break barriers that are set on women in her community. She told NBC News that her community expects for women to stay home and be stay-at-home mothers.

The incoming Harvard freshmen was discouraged from applying to Harvard at one point because of her community’s unreliable internet connection. Esteban lives in a mobile home with her family in Mecca and struggled to complete course work. The internet went down in the middle of her Harvard interview and it almost prevented her from applying to the university.

“Well, I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News about being accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship.

READ: California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

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Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Photos via Getty Images

Months after Naya Rivera’s untimely passing, her family is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of her death. Although there was an outpouring of well-wishes and condolences after Rivera’s tragic drowning, many people have unfortunately moved on. But Rivera’s family is still coping.

On Tuesday, Naya Rivera’s father, George Rivera, slammed “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy for making “broken promises” to Rivera’s son, Josey.

Last July, Murphy pledged to set up a college fund for Josey. In a statement, Murphy said: ““Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family, and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all.”

But since then, George Rivera has vented his frustration at the media mogul via Twitter. In response to a July, 2020 tweet that praised Ryan Murphy for his generosity, George Rivera wrote: “Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did … or didn’t do !!! I’m about to blow up this story …. and make sure he’s knows that I know ….”

In subsequent tweets, George Rivera accused Ryan Murphy both of faking his grief over Naya’s death and lying about setting up a college fund for Josey.

“When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are “less than” …. vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage , that they create,” Rivera wrote. “Promises made in public, only to fade with time and excuses …. even in a unexplainable tragedy …”

Soon enough, fans of Naya Rivera began to engage with George Rivera, asking him to disclose what happened behind the scenes. One zealous fan wrote “Let it out, G. Let it out,” to which Rivera responded, “Broken Promises….. fake outrage …. hollow gestures ….. no phone call.”

George Rivera’s accusations against Ryan Murphy shocked many fans who had thought that her son would be taken care of by the ultra-successful producer.

Looking for clarification, one fan asked, “Did they never open the trust fund for josey? omg,” to which George responded, “Hahaaaa.” His response the initial veiled accusation.

In response to George’s accusations, many “Glee” fans rallied around the grieving father. “If you have anything else please do share,” wrote one Naya Rivera fan account. “We’re going to listen and make sure you have the platform to share whatever that awful man said and did to you and your family, we’re with you.”

Ryan Murphy quickly took to Twitter to address the allegations and defend himself–albeit vaguely.

“Myself, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan have committed to create a college fund for Naya Rivera’s child Josey through the Naya Rivera Estate Trust,” Murphy wrote. “We have been in repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate.”

Based on Murphy’s use of the word “committed”, it does, indeed, sound like he hasn’t actually started the fund yet. We hope he keeps his promise and starts that very soon.

Regardless, we’re glad that George Rivera was brave enough to call out Hollywood power players that were letting his family down.

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