Two students at Stanford University, Emily Olsen and Kalea Woods, have filed a class action lawsuit against all eight schools—including University of Southern California, Yale University, and Stanford—that have been named so far in the college admissions scandal.
Olsen and Woods claim that the scandal will make their degrees from Stanford less valuable, because future employers will wonder if they bribed their way into the school, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. They also say they would not have paid the $80 application fee to USC and Yale had they known other students were getting in with fake test scores and by pretending to be star athletes.
Olivia Jade, the daughter of Lori Loughlin and currently a college freshman at USC, arguably doesn’t even want to be in school—something she’s been pretty open about in her YouTube videos. Students like Jade who allegedly cheated their way into college, whether or not they knew they were cheating (the story goes that only the parents knew about all the bribes and the fraud and the crime, but that story has been beginning to fall apart), are taking opportunities away from students who really want to be there and have the test scores and resumes to do so.
But the lawsuit may be missing the bigger picture. Woods and Olsen are arguing that their decision to apply to these elite schools may have changed if they knew the admissions process was so “warped and rigged by fraud.” Of course it was rigged. Students regularly and openly are accepted to fancy schools because their parents and grandparents and so on went there. Students also get into fancy schools because their parents are rich and donate oodles of money to said schools. Family money grants access to preferential treatment in the college admissions process and beyond, and the kids are applying to these schools are often the ones who can afford to pay their way through in the first place. It’s complicated—but the whole thing is definitely not a meritocracy.
If this lawsuit can call that into question, power to Woods and Olsen. Bring the shit and the all lies it’s built on down.