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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Drozdenko

Reflections on 2019 College Admissions Bribery Scandal

It's been almost three years since the story broke about the college admissions bribery scandal involving college admissions coach Rick Singer and many of his clients. Yesterday, I watched the Netflix documentary Operation Varsity Blues for the first time since it came out in March of 2021, almost a year ago.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to watch it. As a college admissions counselor myself, part of the reason may have been psychological—me trying to mentally distance myself from fully processing how someone in the exact same profession as myself could wind up being so blatantly unethical.

I could feel my heart racing throughout the entire documentary. It was especially intense for me to watch due to the familiarity I have with the business of college admissions counseling. Also, it's quite embarrassing and upsetting to be even remotely associated with such a high profile scandal even if it's simply an association by professional title or similar line of work. With that said, and if I'm honest, I do have my apprehensions about explaining to people what I do. Once it clicks with them, I have unfortunately experienced my share of tongue-in-cheek jokes related to that scandal.

I've heard it said that bad publicity is good publicity. Well, I'm not so sure about this one. But if there is a positive take-away from that scandal I can apply to my own business, it's to always remember to uphold my personal ethical values and to be intentional about making those values shine even brighter.

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