On Tuesday March 12, more than 50 people were charged by United States federal prosecutors in a scheme to influence college admissions decisions at nine universities throughout the country.
Wealthy parents, including celebrities and CEOs, are accused of paying up to $6 million to ensure their children were accepted to the university of their choosing. Most parents have denied that their children had any knowledge that their admission was orchestrated by an outside source.
The scheme was coordinated by William "Rick" Singer, who pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.
Students on campus have had a variety of reactions in response to USC's latest appearance in the headlines. Shira Alcouloumre, an international relations major, believes that the scandal brings into question the validity of getting into USC, or any of the involved universities. However, she does not believe it lowers the value of the degree.
"I think the degree itself,whether or not you paid to get in or you got in on your own merit, you still have to be able to complete four years of an education on your own," said Alcouloumre. "You can't really cheat your way out of that."
Freshman William Panczner said the scandal will blow over by the time he graduates in four years.
"It may not be a popular belief, but many articles have been mentioning USC's name [side-by-side with] Stanford, Yale, Georgetown," said Panczner. "So while it's pretty bad in the short term, I'm not really worried about it in the long term."