Revelations that bribes and false test scores got children of wealthy and celebrity families admitted into college has cast a shadow on the college admission process.
Earlier this week, actress Felicity Huffman and 12 other parents agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy related to a federal investigation that alleges parents paid to have to their children admitted into elite colleges.
The scandal has left admission officials across the country trying to reassure already anxious applicants and their parents that the process isn’t rigged in favor of the wealthy.
Heath Einstein, TCU’s dean of undergraduate admission, said the possibility of a scheme of this nature occurring at TCU “has caused us to reevaluate our processes to identify possible improvements.”
Einstein said he has confidence in the integrity of this office. He added that TCU’s office of admissions has never received any type of offer or bribe from any parent or prospective student.
The admissions staff is trained to counsel parents of students who have been deferred from the university and offer suggestions of less traditional paths such as beginning at a different college and transferring into TCU. The admissions office said that at least three people assess each applicant’s file to insure equality and legitimacy.
Bryn Carden, who has been accepted into TCU and plans on attending next fall, said the admission scandal is disheartening.
“The payments are unfair and students should be admitted solely on their academics and their character strengths,” said Carden, who called the admission process grueling.
“It takes an incredible amount of time, patience, and preparation,” she said. “It also requires a great deal of self introspect as to where you’d truly like to attend your college years.”
She plans on pursuing journalism while at TCU.
Einstein said that the TCU admissions office considers multiple elements of applications into consideration, not just test scores.
“From overcoming adversity to life experiences that make our community more robust and diverse, from creative writing to the visual arts, from research to athletics, we seek students who demonstrate excellence in a myriad of ways,” he said.