Lawmakers Tackle College Admissions Scandal

SACRAMENTO -- Lawmakers at the State Capitol have been responding to the scandal involving millions of dollars being exchanged illegally as parents tried to buy their kids’ way into prestigious universities.

While students, college level and younger, came to terms with the most publicized college admissions scandal in American history, California lawmakers were exploring ways to respond to it.

"We’re doing oversight hearings and trying to decide what our different options are," said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland.

Bonta said the legislature has unique powers to investigate how dozens of parents and school officials fraudulently got kids into elite colleges.

"The process is supposed to be fair, it's supposed to be honest, it's supposed to be transparent, it’s supposed to be inclusive," he told FOX40. "And what we’ve seen here clearly violates the line."

Bonta said the assembly may add more oversight on admissions or call for certain university officials to be dismissed.

However, for current college students like Rosa Torralba, the damage has been done.

"It just didn’t seem fair how all these kids are getting into schools that they didn’t even try for," Torralba said.

Torralba applied to schools she thought she had the grades for but was denied. Now she says it's hard to trust the admissions process.

"That’s literally what came to my mind, 'Maybe I didn’t get into Monterey Bay because of this reason,'" the Sacramento State student said.

"So, a 3.8 (GPA) which used to get you into some of these really top schools now doesn’t even get you considered," said college consultant Steve Sterling.

Sterling helps high schoolers through the admissions process. He said he's not sure more government oversight is the answer but said getting into elite schools today is more competitive than ever.

He said there is an incentive to cheat and that needs to change.

"We tell our clients at UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford in particular, there’s no guarantees. That’s a reach school for everyone," Sterling told FOX40.

"This is creating, and it should, a national dialogue about the practices and transparency," Bonta said.

As lawmakers investigated, many were still left wondering how many more students at elite schools didn’t get in based on their merits.

Sterling said he advises his students to apply to 10 schools each, which just goes show the competitive nature of the college admissions process.

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