The recent college cheating scandal has led to the arrest of 50 individuals and counting. Those involved include former Full House star Lori Laughlin, a.k.a. Aunt Becky, and her husband Mossimo (Fashion Designer). Additionally, actress Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) has also been charged. While these are the most recognizable names flashing recent news headlines, they are joined by several universities and coaches also being charged.

Here’s a brief overview of what happened: “The indictment alleges that between 2011 and 2019, William “Rick” Singer “conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator, and others, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities” (USA Today).

The universities these parents were scheming with are no run of the mill universities – they’re elite level schools. Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, Wake Forest, and more.

Based on this truly scandalous event, we’ve been inspired to provide you with a few tips to help you AVOID getting caught in a failed attempt to prepare your child for college.

Tip 1 to Avoid: Bribing the Admissions Office

The full amount of this scandal calculates to a total of $25 million. Felicity Huffman paid an organization $15,000 to help her daughter cheat on the SAT. Huffman and Lori Laughlin both wrote a check for a whopping half a million dollars to ensure their daughters’ acceptance into the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team. More on that later.

We don’t know about you, but there’s a multitude of other, wiser things a parent could do with that kind of money. Like start a 529 plan or initiate a trust fund for their children. Either of these two options would have been much smarter. Bottom line: don’t use bribery to help your child get into their dream school – start a college fund instead.

Tip 2 to Avoid: Lying About Your Child’s Athletic Ability

As we mentioned above, Loughlin and Huffman paid for their daughters’ place on the USC crew team. In reality, neither of their daughters have ever rowed crew (The Cut). Even if this scheme had worked and no one was caught, we can’t imagine what kind of problems their daughters’ lack of ability would cause when they had to explain why they had no rowing skills whatsoever. I guess Loughlin and Huffman didn’t think that far ahead.

If you think you can get your child into college by posing them as an all-star athlete on their admissions applications, when they’re really not, you’re in for a surprise. There are several types of scholarships available for college prospects. Find a subject that your child excels at and encourage them to apply for those scholarships. This strategy is much more likely to land your child in their dream school.

Tip 3 to Avoid: Getting Advice from Celebrities

We hope after reading all the latest stories on the college cheating scandal and this blog that you no longer need convincing of this last tip. Instead of hitting up a celebrity’s inbox for advice, contact us for financial guidance! Ark Financial can not only provide you with successful strategies that you SHOULD consider when preparing for college, but also a plan for your overall financial wellness.

If you’re interested in building wealth for your family, schedule a consultation with us today!