The Beginning of The Great Scam

By Eric Vallen

Imagine this: you’ve been having economic trouble for a while now, and for some unknown reason, you must make several 70 dollar donations in the next month. To where? Oh, just institutions that couldn’t care less about you. Why, you ask? Primarily because in the present society you live in, the act of donating to these institutions has become a cultural phenomenon based around how attending such institutions will magically lead to you becoming exceedingly wealthy. Too bad that isn’t the case. 

As many of us should know, college is in and of itself, a scam. Unless you are going into a field necessitating a specialized skill, like engineering, attending college holds no value to you. In all honesty degrees like poli-sci, communications, or liberal arts are useless. Just lie, learn to use your vocal cords, and use common sense and you’ll be just as skilled as an alternate version of yourself that spent $100,000 on an insignificant piece of paper.  

The scam begins with college applications, through which colleges intend to afflict you with mental illness. Several institutions collaborate, deciding on distinctively different word limits for their essays to ensure that you spend every waking hour working on them. Taking up more of your time, they create several different platforms for application, all of which mandate meticulous input of all of your personal information and grades. In this way, colleges intend to test your mental strength, forcing you into mental illness to see if you can get over the hump. If you really think about it, they’re helping you in a way, because at least they’re giving you a depressing topic to write about! 

If you’re one of the lucky millions to persevere through severe mental and physical repercussions, congratulations! Now you get to pay a fee of $70. Per school. On each and every college application platform. 

But wait! There’s such a thing as fee waivers, so maybe if you have had some bad family circumstances, or your family is struggling financially, you don’t have to pay the money! Let’s look at the qualifications. The poverty line for a family of 5 in the general area surrounding Westmont High School is around 120,000 dollars per year, with both parents working. To qualify for being in poverty, you have to be within 150% of the federal poverty line, which colleges generally adhere to when handing out fee waivers. Within 150% of the poverty line, which applies in California, for families of 5, is $46,560 dollars a year. We’re talking gross income, and that’s the upper limit. Homelessness is the standard for fee waiver applications in the bay area. But we’ll hypothesize that from some miraculous circumstance, a homeless person managed to obtain a fee waiver, send their application, and be accepted into college. How would they travel? Get boarding? Food? They couldn’t. To a massive portion of the population here in the bay area, College is largely inaccessible due to these fees, and yet people still preach about equality of opportunity. Ironic.