Welcome Back. Finish Strong!

Ponder this during the last nine weeks of the semester: some of you will attend colleges that admit students whose admission resulted from their parents’ strenuous–perhaps illegal–efforts to place them there, rather than on the merits of their own labors.

It isn’t fair.

It isn’t a surprise.

Parents will do amazing things to ensure the well-being of their offspring, from rewarding uninspired doodles with a place on the fridge to spending boatloads of cash on college admissions counselors. Such actions spring up from a natural impulse to see their kids do well. However, at what point do those parents cross the line between being pushy and doing too much? If you could counsel those parents about the best ways to encourage a child’s happiness and success, what would you tell them?

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28 Responses to Welcome Back. Finish Strong!

  1. KT says:

    I think that something parents fail to realize is that their child is not perfect. If a child is not accepted into a college, then they did not qualify to take a spot away from a more deserving student. If a college does not think a student would be a good fit, but the child some how attends to college anyway, they are destined for failure. It is up for the board of admissions to decide if a child attends the school, not the parent. It is much easier for a child to get over the rejection of a college rather than not being good enough to stay at and succeed in college.

  2. Erin says:

    The parents cross the line when they their child does not qualify for admission at a certain school, and they pay a lot more for their child to go to the school. I think in order for someone to be happy, they need to make their own decisions. If someone is rejected from a school, they need to suck it up and apply to more schools. It is not fair that qualified students do not have the same chance of getting into a school as someone not as qualified, but with wealthy parents.

  3. Linda Arnoldus says:

    I see many sides of the argument here. On one hand, if I was a parent, I would love to see my child go to an Ivy League school, especially if I went there then they carried on my legacy. I would also feel a tad angry if I donated an abundance of money to the school just for my child to get rejected. From the POV of the college admissions officers, colleges get good money from donations. No tipping of the scales, less donations. From the total opposite side, kids who work hard just to be rejected from their dream college because of financial status get the shortest end of the stick. If I were a parent of one such kid, I would be outraged. Yes, everyone is looking out in their own self interest here, but one group of people is clearly suffering more than the other. Financial discrimination is contributing to education in equality, and I am against that.

  4. random says:

    At some point, parents have start letting their kids make their own decisions and become responsible. Parents that go so far as to pay loads of money for their kid to be able to go to a certain college aren’t allowing them to do that. I understand that parents have a big influence on where students go to college, but they still shouldn’t pay so much money just so their kid can go to a college that they might not have even chosen to go to. Also, if the kid can’t get into the college on their own merit, how are they going to succeed in the long run? The parent might just end up wasting a bunch of money.

  5. Samantha Broussard says:

    Not all kids are perfect, and that’s okay. Parents should be proud of their kids when they do something worth while, but not everything that a child does necessarily deserves praise. It is very wrong that parents think it is okay to bribe college admissions to get their kids into a dream school. Just because a student wants to go to their dream school does not mean that it is the perfect fit for them. I think parents needs to talk to their kids more and try to figure out what school would be a perfect fit for them instead of just paying their way into a school that may not be good for them. Parents should encourage kids to do well in college, and coach them through a rejection if that may come. You’re not going to get everything you want in life, and college is only a small step in the bigger picture where parents should encourage you to go where you are a good fit, not where they have bribed admissions to go.

  6. Khytavia Fleming says:

    If I could counsel these parents, I would say, “STOP IT.” I don’t see the point in these parents paying for their children’s ACT/SAT test to be corrected, and I definitely don’t see the point in them photo shopping their kid’s face on other athletes’ bodies. They’re not helping their kids develop by doing this. They’ve gone from buying their kids expensive cars to breaking the law for them. The children of these wealthy individuals will never succeed in life because “mommy” and “daddy” too busy doing all the work. Honestly, if these individuals are going to use their money to help their children, do it the right way. These individuals should pay for their children to take high priced test preparation classes. For God sake, get them a personal tutor if you’re going to drop thousands for them to go to college. More importantly, I would counsel them on how not be dumb. America knows that there are hundreds maybe even thousands of parents who have donated very generously to colleges just to get their child into the school. Is this still okay? No, but it is better than paying someone to corrct your child’s test. At least through this way, the school as a whole benfits. Buildings, new books, technology, etc. can be bought with that money.

  7. DeMya Fleming says:

    I feel as if some parents can’t see their child as anything but perfect, so when things aren’t going the way they want it, they feel the need to fix it. It might seem okay to “help” your child along the way, but in the long run, you’re handicapping them. If their child is not smart enough to earn spots at these universities, they should just leave it at that. Their child is bound to fail since they couldn’t secure a spot the right way. Students who have actually worked would have valued their spot. Getting rejected is a part of life and rich parents need to understand that. Of all the money spent on their child’s education, they could’ve hired tutors and placed their children in academically competitive schools. One rejection wasn’t going to ruin their lives.

  8. Guillermo says:

    In psychology, there was an experiment where children who liked to read were either paid to read or allowed to read without payment. The study found that the children who were paid to read lost their motivation to read, while those who weren’t paid kept their motivation. I think that if parents reward their children for doing things they already enjoy doing, they are doing their child a wrong. I also think that parents paying large sums of money for what they see as their child’s well-being will spoil the child.

  9. JoJo Kaler says:

    I would tell them that once they are going off to college, your parenting work is done. When they are on a college campus, they are out of your control and are to deal with life and their challenges on their own. This if you’ll excuse the pun applies to getting into college as well. College is the first time a child can truly get out of the nest and make their own life separate of their family. This is very hard for parents to accept. Personally, I would much rather get into MSU for free on my own accord than getting into Harvard on my parents dollar (and I’m not just referring to tuition). At this point in a students life, most teenagers are ready to get out of the nest and helicopter parenting will be met with resistance. On a college tour, our tour guide in response to a question about how much parents had an influence on their studies he responded with “There’s no helicopter landing pad on campus, don’t worry.” When you are at college, especially at elite universities, you are own your own. Your grades are yours to make and your parent’s cannot affect that.

  10. Ellen Overstreet says:

    It is always better to let your kid fail every once in a while. Sometimes you need to let your kid suffer a bit in order for them to learn. Giving your kid everything they want without letting them realize their mistakes is ultimately worse for a child than letting them get hurt.

  11. Alyssa says:

    At that point in a child’s life, it is the time where they should start making decisions for themselves. Some are meant to do better than their parents, but also some cannot do as well as their parents did. Handing a child everything that has to be earned by others, is not going to motivate that child. It is okay to push children in a certain direction, but telling them what college to go to and what they should major in is unacceptable.

  12. X says:

    First, grades and test scores do not mean everything. A child’s happiness and success cannot be forced; he or she has to find it himself or herself. The only thing that a parent can do is to guide and present things for his or her children. Paying a college to give their children undeserved education is morally and ethically wrong. The best way to encourage a child’s happiness and success is through support. Whatever the child chooses to do, as a parent, he or she should always support his or her passions. These college scandals are absolutely disgusting. There was a reason for the child to be rejected, so why try to find a path out of it?

  13. N says:

    If the student does not qualify for a certain college, it is not the parent’s place to go out of their way to find a way for their child to be accepted. By attending a college that they are not fit for, they are only going to suffer and fail. There are reasons why college admissions councils make the decisions that they make.

  14. Alexandra Magee says:

    Pushy is taking the child to high school day at 8 years old, but crossing the line is paying millions of dollars for buildings to be built in the family name coincidentally the same year the child applies to college. The parent is supposed to know right from wrong. There is a way to encourage and ignite a compassion for learning and the education process in young people. It does not start with lying & deceit. The advice: hone into the children’s abilities of curiosity & creativity to allow self-motivation to take control. Give support until the children find something they love to do. Model the character and integrity they want them to have. Let them make mistakes, then let them fix the mistakes. Listen to them, so your dream isn’t forced unto them. Affirm that it doesn’t matter where they go to school, it matters what they do when they get there.

  15. Sam Stokley says:

    I believe that parents should have limited access into a child’s college application and decision making. While I can understand a parent’s concern for their child’s future, it seems silly to think that a parent can use their wealth to give their child something they might not even deserve. It was reported by the media that Olivia Jade could not even fill out her own college application to USC. If you cannot fill out your own college application, what makes you think that you deserve acceptance into that specific college!!!!

  16. Ryan says:

    A lot of parents like to think they know what’s best for their children. That is absolutely true for when your child can hardly think for themselves, but in the case of where the child is a fully functioning adult the parent should allow them to make their own way through life and offer your support not pay everyone off so their feelings are never hurt. Nobody likes reading rejection letters, but that just means you weren’t what the college was looking for and you learn from failure. Offering unconditional love and support is all you can do while your child finds their own way through life.
    On another note that no one really has mentioned, why are these kids not failing out? Were the teachers also paid off or, more embarrassing for the parents, were the kids actually smart and determined enough to get through these colleges that they may have gotten in on their own terms?

  17. Geneva Hamilton says:

    My mom did a good job in encouraging my happiness and success, so I would share with them some of the things she did. First, she helped me establish self-confidence which empowered me to be independent. Then, she motivated me to succeed from a young age and always pushed me to apply myself to new challenges. This eventually turned into self motivation which keeps me going even when I do not “feel like it”. Though she would give me just about anything I asked for, she established respect in me at a young age. Respect aided in my happiness and success. Through all of this, she lead by example. There is no need for a parent to be over bearing, if they have put in their kids all the characteristic of a successful person. They will be successful if you prepare them to succeed.

  18. anonymous says:

    I have read so many articles about the Aunt Becky scandal, and honestly we should’ve expected it. Lori Loughlin’s daughter is a YouTube personality star; her life is being shared all over the internet. She expressed her dislike of school and that she was never very good in school. Her acceptance into USC surprised a lot of people; obviously it raised suspicion. Loughlin wanted better for her child and wanted her to further her education, but Loughlin should have been more careful about where she sent her child. At the end of the day she should not have paid for her child to get into a prestige unniversity. I’d tell her to be more cautious or do not do it all.

  19. Mykailla Foster says:

    I’ve seen several articles about the acceptance of celebrity kids. I feel as if the parent will go as far as to bribing a college into acceptance, the parents might as well buy their first house, car and allow them to live off them for the rest of their life. Not getting accepted into college is not that disappointing. It’s a part of life and anyone that has applied to multiple colleges knows this. It’s not fair to those who are qualified to not have the same opportunity of those who are as qualified.

  20. Mykailla Foster says:

    I feel as if the parent will go as far as to bribing a college into acceptance, the parents might as well buy their first house, car and allow them to live off them for the rest of their life. Not getting accepted into college is not that disappointing. It’s a part of life and anyone that has applied to multiple colleges knows this. There should e equal opportunity for all children regardless of social status.

  21. ET says:

    Kids are best raised with a few boundaries and gentle advice. Allowing kids to explore is important as it improves their creativity and viewpoints. When it comes to secondary education, all colleges are not created equal. In fact, many do not know of other options such as technical colleges or apprenticeships. Most students do not have enough information whether from the schools or their family. If possible, parents should give their children exposure to various interests and leave the final choice to themselves. Colleges have their flawed application system, but hopefully, they will change with the national news exposing them.

  22. Xavier Lucas-Cooper says:

    Obviously, a parent bribing a school in order to let their child get admitted is going beyond the boundaries of honesty and credibility. In order to encourage your child towards success, you should support them in all of their positive endeavors and push them towards ethical methods of advancement. Instead of stunting their efforts with methods that do not express their true talent, a parent should cheer their child on from the sidelines as they experience the possible pain or joy that comes with applying to colleges.

  23. Amyria Kimble says:

    Success is derived from confidence. My mother never praised my achievements; instead, she always told me I could do better. So I kept trying over and over again just to get her approval until one day I snapped. I told her that I believe I’ve accomplished things even if she doesn’t. And she responded with it’s about time. My mother raised me to have confidence in myself no matter what anyone else thinks, and I believe that this is the best advice for anyone who wants to achieve success and happiness. Now, I kind of miss when my mother didn’t care about what I was doing. When I tried to apply for this school, she insisted on making her own account and even attempted to write my essays. I had to sneak off and apply without her knowing. That was when my mother crossed the line. Another piece of advice is to allow your child space to do what they want to do. It’s different to encourage your child to take a good path in life than to force a path on them. Provide tips, but let them figure out what they want to do on their own. Because if they don’t, they’re most likely will hate what they will end up doing.

  24. TL says:

    If a parent believes their child has the capability to get into a college, they should let their application speak for itself. I understand money talks and BS walks but not in this situation. Paying for a child to get into college equivalates having a lack of faith in the child. The parents are simply doing TOO much. They are ruining the chances of potential students who deserve the slot. Also, the child will think its ok to pay their way through everything.

  25. Aja Ceesay says:

    During my Spring Break, I remember my phone alerting me with a Buzzfeed notification about something with Aunt Becky. I had no idea what was going on, until I watched the news that night. My skin was hot with anger after seeing that someone who tells people, “I don’t really care about school” on the World Wide Web is attending USC. There are people out there who got denied from this prestigious school because some lowlife parents decided to pay their children’s way into school. What was the point of this? If she wasn’t caught, Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade would have graduated with a USC degree and nothing to do with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she threw it away after graduation. Did Loughlin pay her children’s way into USC to make her look good? Because it wasn’t going to do anything to Olivia’s reputation, seeing that she “would rather be filming 24/7 than sitting in 6 hours of classes.”

  26. Bubba says:

    Every parent want their children to succeed. They do not want them to be dependent on them for the rest of their lives. However, sometimes too much help from them would result in that. I do not think it’s fair having one student get admitted to a college through their own labor, and another student getting admitted into the same college through the connections and strenuous efforts of the parents. I believe that parents should help motivate their children to do good in school instead of “cheating the system.” Parents could enforce strict rules in the house and force their kids to focus on their studies. This gives the students an early advantage in learning responsibilities and good work ethics, which are crucial in adulthood.

  27. B says:

    Parents are a reflection of their parents, who are reflections of their parents, and so on and so on. Parents learn ways from their parents but with a bit different perspective. Most parents want the best for their offspring but they tend to sometimes do it in a very oppressive way. Especially if they were in a culture where they were also pressured. By that the presume that the only way that they can get their children to do good is to pressure them the way they were. HOWEVER, it is good to note that 20-30 years ago it isn’t like it is now. Being there for their children which is shown in movies, which are popular in movies that the teens watch nowadays. Most teenagers want to get loved and attention and to know their parents are going to be there for them forever.

  28. Samaria Swims says:

    Parents want their kids to succed in life, so parents are going to do all they can so that their children can achieve their dreams. I believe that there’s a line between doing something to help your child, and doing something that could potentially harm your child along the way. I believe that parents should know when they cross the line, and to also let their children make their on decisions.

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