Ed Guzman was the very first person in his Mexican immigrant family to attend college.
“Entered in fall of ’95, graduated in spring of ’99,” Guzman says. “I was a history major at Stanford.”
Stanford University is among the list of schools William Rick Singer is accused of helping parents pay their way into in a large college admission scheme, which was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The news angered people everywhere, including Guzman, who says it wasn’t easy getting into Stanford.
“I still remember my father, him asking for advances on his salary because it was, well ‘how do we pay for this?’” Guzman recalls.
Financial aid, scholarships, and his parents scraping by paved the way toward Guzman’s success, which is why he was left shaking his head after hearing of the news of the “biggest college admissions scam in history.”
“I just was astonished because there was such an element of like entitlement, when there are those of us who just work so hard just to even get a whiff of it,” Guzman says.
The vice president of the National Association for College Admissions, Stefanie Niles, says this extreme case of bribery boils down to upholding ethics and integrity for all parties involved in the admissions process.
“Certainly, there’s more to learn about what happened and what exactly went on, and I know this will continue to raise issues and discussion within the higher education community and beyond for certainly weeks, months if not years to come,” Niles says.
Guzman hopes those involved are held accountable.
“I guess the potential good thing that could come out of this is that people will look at the processes a lot more closely, because it appears that it can be easily manipulated,” Guzman says.
Authorities say 50 people, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, took part in the scheme that involved either cheating on standardized tests or bribing college coaches to accept students as college athletes. Many of the students accepted as athletes never even played that sport, according to charging documents.
“I know that there’s probably frustration out there amongst families that individuals with wealth could get away with this,” Niles says.
The alleged orchestrater of the scheme, William Rick Singer, pleaded guilty Tuesday to four charges.