How The College “Cheating Scandal” Demonstrates America’s “Culture of Fame”
By Dr. Baehr, Publisher
This week’s scandal involving several top colleges across the nation and more than 30 high-profile business leaders and celebrities who allegedly bribed college officials to get their children into elite universities reveals a couple major problems infecting modern American society and its educational system.
First, ever since the federal government started to “guarantee” massive school loans for college-bound adults, the costs of attending college have skyrocketed, mostly because college officials found a sugar daddy to fund the latest educational fads and pay many college professors and administrators far more money than they were worth, not only in salaries, but also in ridiculous benefits.
As a result, more and more people left college burdened with massive debt, with no marketable skills to get the kind of well-paying job that could pay off such debt.
Second, the government school loan program created a “Culture of Fame” where getting into an elite college like Stanford, Yale or USC (three of the colleges involved in the scandal) is more important than getting the wisdom that a college degree is supposed to impart. Students are looking to “name schools” rather than seeking the best fit for their desired area of study which might not bode well after their college days are over, and they look for jobs in the professional sphere.
In the past, colleges used to admit a wide range of people into their educational programs, regardless of what loans they could get to pay for such an education.
I am often asked by people what college or university they or their children should attend. My answer always is to attend the school that’s best for you and where you feel God is calling you. Thus, if you want to study marine biology, go to U.C. San Diego. If you want to become a business owner, go to the Wharton School of Business.
The interference of secular big government in education has been a disaster for America’s educational system, and for American society in general. We have become a Culture of Fame instead of a Culture of Wisdom. Instead of striving to be wise, too many of our young people are striving to be famous, and this narcissistic pursuit has led them to focus on creating a sensation on social media or in the mass media rather than becoming a fount of knowledge and wisdom or creating a positive bond of fellowship with God and their fellow man.
Additionally, this conundrum, which has involved Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin (FULL HOUSE) and Felicity Huffman (DESPARATE HOUSEWIVES), poses a greater question of integrity. The Bible speaks to the value of honesty and cultivating a heart of integrity frequently (Prov. 11:3, Heb. 13:18, etc.). It’s not that parents or students don’t have the right to donate to a college, but cheat, lie and bribe their children’s way into college.
That said, having been a L.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office S.D.N.Y., there are always two sides to every case, and we, the public, must not prejudge these cases best on news stories.
Let this “cheating scandal” serve as an example where we glean that integrity and education must go hand in hand.
**Editor’s Note: MOVIEGUIDE® Editor Tom Snyder and Staff Writer Tess Farrand contributed to this article.
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