The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Olivia Jade Cheating Scandal

April 30, 2019

Olivia Jade is a 19year-old from Los Angeles who began to build notoriety and fame through social media during her years in high school. She has been able to amass a following of over 1.9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel alone. Those following her social media accounts noticed a pattern in her behavior regarding secondary school, and even took note of her saying on multiple occasions that that she does not necessarily value school. Shortly after her statements, she was accepted into the University of Southern California, which is an academically competitive school. Many people wondered exactly how someone who claimed to care so little for school was able to gain acceptance into a school that has a rate of only admitting 17.7% of those who apply. Yet, their questions were answered when it came out that her mother Lori Laughlin was allegedly the mastermind behind scamming her daughter’s way into a top university. It was reported that there were many illegal steps taken in order for Olivia to gain acceptance. For instance, her ACT score was changed from 23 to a 35. Lori is also accused of paying ACT test proctors to sit with and give Olivia the test answers. Not to mention the fact that she paid the university $500,000 for acceptance. This scenario has sparked a lot of controversy and conversation surrounding the unfair advantages and privilege that the rich feel they are so entitled to. Not only is it unfair to USC students who made sacrifices to attend the school, but it is also unfair to all American students who work hard to be able to attend college just to pay back their debt once they graduate.  

Think about her situation from the perspective of the average teenage American. Throughout their life, they have been constantly made to feel as though college is the only path that they can take after high school to be successful. Although this may not be necessarily be true, they will likely take this route in order to be able to make a living for themselves. They may actually want to pursue art or the entertainment industry but give up those hopes and dreams in order to have a secure income. Many pursue a college degree as a ‘safety plan’ to getting a job. However, in Olivia Jade’s case, she honestly did not need a college degree in order to make a living for herself. Her social media influence and brand deals could make her enough income to last for years. Not to mention, her mother is a famous actress who definitely could network her daughter into the acting realm. Instead, their family chose to use this privilege of attending college into a right. They only view attending USC and other elite schools as a social status rather than an accomplishment. Unfortunately, they will never be able to understand and experience the joy of working hard and earning something because they would rather take the easy way out and purchase it. It is very evident that their family only sees things in a material aspect, which is honestly pathetic.  

The most upsetting part of this entire story is the fact that Olivia Jade is taking up the spot of another student; someone who worked undoubtedly hard but was denied because money and status got in the way. It was reported that Olivia posed as a rowing athlete and took up a spot of an athlete. The worst part about this is the fact that Olivia is not even active on the team, nor has she been on a rowing team previously. Student athletes sacrifice their time to put in the hard work to make practice, eat clean and consistently train. Yet, Olivia has done none of these things, but was put on the team just to be an inactive member. A normal person would likely feel guilty or motivated to do exceptionally well at this elite school (considering the sacrifice and risk that her mother took), but not Olivia Jade. In one of her YouTube videos, she made sure to explain to her subscribers that she “doesn’t really care about school” but would rather just “experience game days and parties.” She has made it very clear that she does not even value the position that she is in. She has an extremely ungrateful attitude of the typical privileged teenager. Most people go to school to be able to make a living for themselves, yet Olivia just does it to elevate her social status. 

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