Local college counselor shares thoughts on federal bribing case

Local advisor talks about the college admissions scandal

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - At least 50 people are charged, and federal agents say more arrests could be coming in a nationwide bribing investigation.

It was dubbed ‘Operation Varsity Blues,’ involving dozens of wealthy parents, CEO’s and two Hollywood celebrities who allegedly schemed to get their children into elite colleges and universities.

The scandal isn’t sitting well with local guidance counselors.

Betsy Pruitt, owner of Education Navigation says she was offended when she learned of those charged in the reported $25 million cheating scheme.

“To think that you can manipulate the system, and use power and influence and money to get what you want is really offensive when the rest of us have to abide by the rules,” Pruitt stated.

She moved her business out of her home to downtown Evansville at the beginning of the year, which helps students find the best fit and academic area. Pruitt tells 14 News she is a member of the Indiana Association for College Admissions Counseling, which is part of a national association, and must following those ethics and standards.

She says the allegations can make it more difficult to earn trust.

“I’m not going to try to pay someone or suggest you pay someone to tell something that is not accurate just to get your student to go where they think they want to go, or where you think you want them to go,” Pruitt explained.

She has already worked with close to 100 students, and last year’s group earned more than a million dollars in scholarships.

"It takes time to write essays; it takes time to research and find the scholarships that you are eligible for, but it is well worth it in the end when it results in real dollars,” Pruitt added.

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