“Aunt Becky’s” Lesson From The First Week Of School

My older child just started her freshman year at a state university that she has wanted to attend since she was 4 years of age.

She worked hard as a student. She did her homework. She learned from her mistakes. She learned to ask good questions. She took the SAT. The ACT. Both multiple times.

She took rigorous classes. She even took a class with her ninth favorite English teacher in the department at her high school.

That person would be her father.

She wrote her own essay responses for every college application and got her own recommendations.

Just this past week, she was told that all classes would be fully online. She wants to stay on campus as long as she can, but has a plan if there is a need for campus to be closed down for a while.

That’s an education in and of itself for her and her parents. It was hard to even predict something like that happening when she started applying to schools last fall. Just figuring out the finances to pay tuition when one parent is a public high school teacher seemed to be a 4-credit course in and of itself.

And I wouldn’t trade any of it especially when I see this:

One might say that two months is getting off easy. Well, it is.

But I tend to think of it this way:

“Aunt Becky” and her husband spent one-half of a million dollars to just try and getting their children into the University of Southern California.

In the court decision, her husband was sentenced to 5 months in prison and a $250,000 fine. Aunt Becky’s fine is $150,000. And USC isn’t giving refunds.

Collegesimply.com estimates that one year for one student at USC costs around $75,000.

Aunt Becky had two kids there.

The younger daughter was a freshman when the scandal broke. The older is a little under two years her senior. Presumably she was a sophomore when the scandal came to light. Already a lot of money had been spent on going to USC.

Now neither of the two is enrolled. Imagine how hard it will be for them to try and obtain admission into another school.

Now think of how much in legal fees that Aunt Becky and her husband have had to pay.

Now think of the lost revenue from lost acting gigs and potential deals for the father.

That’s a lot of money and a lot of bad publicity. Maybe that two-month sentence in prison looks a little different now.

Or not.

Odd that with the pandemic, colleges and universities are relying more heavily at other factors in applications than SAT and ACT scores. Plus, it’s harder to be recruited as an athlete if high school sports have been put on hold or even some club sports.

As a teacher, give me a student who excels at trying to make him or herself better inside and outside the classroom in authentic ways whether it be as a student, athlete, or citizen.

You can’t buy that.