• Lilana Slater

The Actions of One Does Not Represent the Many

As a private college admission consultant and owner of College Driven, L.L.C., I am prompted to respond to the recent unveiling of the college admissions scandal. This is another example of an industry’s innocence tarnished due to the actions, poor choices, greed, and misjudgments of the very few. There is no regulation for the college consulting and SAT/ACT tutoring industry, but I would argue that integrity and truth should be a personal commitment one promises to each and every client, not to mention abiding by the law.

When I began my own college consulting business over a decade ago, I did it on the premise of finding the BEST FIT colleges for each client. I take time to understand a student’s true passions and interests, and devise a plan to showcase his or her innate talents, that element that they have naturally. Nothing is contrived. It doesn’t have to be. Why? Because when anyone operates in his or her true strengths, there doesn’t have to be any manipulation. Finding what motivates and excites a person puts them “in the zone”, so there is no need for forging or faking.

I know we all want what’s best for our kids. I know we have been known to go to great lengths and major inconveniences to help our kids along. But, that’s called support, not manipulation. When only parents’ desires, not the kids’, are leading the way, no one wins. Placing your child into an environment where they have no business being will not only defeat the struggling child’s spirit in college, it will defeat their spirit in life. What messages were sent to these children of “well-intentioned” parents? That mom and dad will pay your way in, that you, child, can’t do it on your own, that money opens doors no matter who gets hurt, that mom’s and dad’s illegal actions are justified because it’s for the kids? WHAT?! The damage these actions and ideas cause the kids is irrefutable and sad. The true victims of this whole scandal, quite frankly, are the children of the guilty. The people that love them the most have led them astray from their true purpose in life. Their confidence in succeeding on their own has been deflated by the same people that want to build them up.

Parents, listen to your children. Make note of their happiest moments and learn what engages their curiosities. These are all clues, and the solution is rarely found on the campuses of elite institutions. Success is found in the hearts, minds, and hands of our children. Support, don’t manipulate your children, and get out of their way!