Rockland woman says admissions scandal harms deserving students

By Stephen Betts | Mar 18, 2019
Abby Billington

Los Angeles — Abby Billington said the nationwide college admissions scandal is really upsetting to her.

Billington, a Rockland native, is a senior at the University of Southern California, located in downtown Los Angeles.

Of the 32 parents charged in the admissions scandal March 12, more than half are accused of bribing their children's way into USC, according to the L.A. Times.

Billington said it is well known that USC is a destination for children of celebrities and wealthy people and that those families could get students admitted by other means, such as donating large amounts of money for buildings on campus.

But the acts involved in the admissions scandal that became public last week go beyond that, she said.

"This is really upsetting. This deters students from applying who don't come from wealthy families. This is a rigged system," Billington said.

In addition, she said the scandal diminishes the achievements of other students, since the public will question which USC students got into the university based on merit.

The most high-profile USC students embroiled in the admissions scandal are the two daughters of actor Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli. The indictments allege that the parents paid $500,000, disguised as a donation to a foundation, so that the admissions committee was misled into believing the daughters would join the rowing team, a sport in which they did not participate.

Billington said she had not met the daughters, but has seen them on campus. She will be graduating in May with a degree in political science and a minor in international relations.

She graduated from Oceanside High School in Rockland in 2015. She earned her way to being accepted at USC by getting good grades, taking a challenging course load, having strong SAT scores, and participating in extracurricular activities such as tennis and art exhibits.

Billington is the daughter of Gary and Sandra Billington of Rockland.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Mar 18, 2019 09:16

You certainly need to commend students who work hard to get ahead. I still can not wrap my head around why young people put themselves into burdensome debt just to end up with a mangers job at Walmart

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