By Jordan Mazza

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- Outrage, but not surprise: that's the reaction on the Brown University campus to the nationwide scandal alleging parents – including celebrities – bribed college officials to get their kids admitted.

"I think it's bound to happen in a lot of elite institutions," said student Isabella Longoria. "And I think it's something that maybe happens frequently but it's not really talked about."

"All schools are a business," said student AJ Alcover. "It's really understandable, just really unfair — and really unfortunate for students who actually have a lot of potential and capabilities, that spot gets taken, and in that way."

Some say it reflects a competitive and inherently unfair college admissions process.

"To say that it's really merit–based is an oversimplification," said student Will Morgan. "It's mostly luck. And if your parents want to throw some money at it, and that helps you out, that's just the way it works."

But others say schools could do more to prevent scams.

"Be a lot more transparent in their admission policies and procedures in general," said student Natalie Feinstein. "I don't think most people understand how it works. Everyone has their own theory. And then also be more transparent about the role that legacy and money plays in admissions."

But one Rhode Island College student says parents trying to give their children an unfair advantage end up doing more harm than good.

"You're not bettering the student," said Angela Pierre–Louis. "People really have to work toward their accomplishments in life and their goals in life, and if you're just paying your way to get there, it's not going to make you a better person in the future."


(C) WLNE-TV 2019