MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Wednesday, Bob Jones High School alumni, students and staff gathered in its auditorium to talk the transition from high school as a national college bribery bust is playing out.
10 recent Bob Jones graduates, with experience ranging from community college to the Ivy League, spoke to students about their process leaving their Madison homes and moving to college.
Hanging over the meeting was Tuesday’s news of a busted national college bribery scandal. Fifty people are charged in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.
The parents allegedly paid for ringers to take ACT exams, paid testing insiders to alter scores, and to have their children “recruited” for sports they didn’t play.
The schools implicated are Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dartmouth sophomore and Bob Jones alum Gabriel Kuenzli said he wasn’t surprised by the news, but doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
“I always knew that some of the people who had more money or parents were an alum had a bit of an edge. It is a little disheartening to hear that is happening,” he said.
Kuenzli said he comes from a military family and was only able to attend Dartmouth because of the GI Bill. He said he took the ACT roughly five times.
He said students shouldn’t be daunted by the news of the scandal and keep grinding.
“Do the best that you can, try your best. In the end you get more satisfaction for knowing that you actually earned it, instead of having someone pay for it.”
Current Bob Jones senior Kafui Sakyi-Addo also said she wasn’t surprised by the news. After months of preparing and tests, she will be going to UAB to study communications in the fall.
“Speaking as someone from a lower socio-economic level, that’s incredibly unfair, and given how hard my friends and I have been working....It’s just really unfair that someone can bypass all that hard work and get straight into college just through money," she said.
Bob Jones principal Sylvia Lambert said her school has the resources necessary for her students to be ready for any path they take.
“Our students work hard, we have a lot of different things in place to help our students. We have different programs, we have different classes that can help them prepare for testing, college testing. Our students take that very seriously,” she said.