US COLLEGE Bribery Scandal grates on those who missed the cut..........

THE US college bribery scandal has unleashed angst and fury among parents, students and admission experts, as an unprecedented criminal investigation draws attention to the privileges afforded to the wealthy Americans.

Hollywood actors and business executives are among 50 people charged with taking part in the largest college admissions scandal in US history, which involved getting students into elite, highly selective universities by paying bribes and cheating the admission process.

Ordinary Americans were just not amused. ''I've worked my hat off for four years trying to make myself seem really presentable., studying two hours a week, for the SAT [entrance exam] and getting all As in my classes,'' said Connor Finn, 18, a senior at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles.

''And then the fact that people would just pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and without the hard work is not really rewarding at all,'' he said.

Finn's father, Michael, said the teenager applied to a dozen universities, including University of California, Los Angeles [UCLA], where the daughter of one couple charged in the scandal was enrolled. Connor is still waiting for a response, his father said.

Dan Raffety, a college counsellor at the Elgin Academy prep school near Chicago, said he had a student with superb grades, perfect entrance exam scores and a resume full of extracurricular activities who was denied entry at Georgetown.

He said he was angered to think academically deserving students may have lost a spot to cheaters.

Access To Power : Besides academic excellence, elite schools offer access for their graduates to a network of people in power.

''At some point this really isn't about education. This is about trying to get access,'' Rafferty said.

Many elite universities give preference to ''legacy'' applicants, the children of those who previously attended. In other cases, major financial gifts, including multimillion dollar donations to construct buildings on campus, pave the way for the privileged.

Both practices are legal.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on US college bribery scandal, continues.


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