William "Rick" Singer, the architect of the largest US college admissions scam, was sentenced on Wednesday to 3.5 years in federal prison for helping children of the rich and famous secure admission to elite schools and universities through cheating and bribery.
In addition to the prison time, the 62-year-old was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit over $10M. Singer is due to report to prison on Feb. 27.
The desperation of wealthy parents to get their children into prestigious schools is astounding. The fraud not only reflects the extraordinary lengths these influential people can go to but also exposes the vulnerability of a flawed education system. While the story may have ended with the culprits behind bars, the fund-raising-admission process link is left unscathed, leaving the rampant world of college elitism intact.
Although there are certainly monetary barriers to attending prestigious schools, the unraveling of this scam attests to the steps that have been taken to address this. While the deeply integrated classism in the prestigious US college admissions system cannot be changed overnight, Singer's sentencing is a start.