Local educators, students react to college scam

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Freshmen college students, like Megan Pieske, find the nationwide college entry scam a disappointment.

"It's definitely frustrating. I think it goes to show that there is some kind of upper class privileges that people have.," she said.

Students feel disadvantaged knowing that others did not have to go through the same process as they did.

"If you are financially capable and you can pay to get into a college, it definitely undermines the credibility of the students who are working extremely hard and maybe don't have the financial resources for it," said Pieske.

Students are working hard, yet many are not open to all of the options that might be available to them.

Randy Vickers, owner of Solution Skills, an SAT and ACT tutoring center, said, "People just sort of lock in on a couple of places and the requirements are so high they feel like they need to get in at any cost."

Due to the highly competitive atmosphere of college admissions, many students are trying to raise their test scores by taking exams multiple times. Those exam scores, are then used for entrance into colleges, scholarships, and financial aid.

"It's a really stressful and pressure packed process, that a lot of times students don't get a lot of the right kinds of help to be able to make these kinds of decisions," added Vickers.

These decisions, that make an impact for years.

"It definitely should be something you are going into for yourself, and not for anyone else because you are the one that has to stick it out for the next four years," said Florida State student Margaret Plunkett.

As Vickers says, these decisions are ones students and parents should be realistic about.

"The more the student can become empowered and knowledgeable about the process, when you let them know what it takes to get into some of these schools, they'll either try really hard or look at other options," he said.

Those other options could be anything, from taking an exam truthfully to being open to all paths after high school.

"The problem is you get so narrowly focused and miss out on the fact that there are so many other options that do not require these illegal and extraordinary measures," said Vickers.

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