With all the new technologies and potential for fake news/images, there is even more of a need for people to become digitally literate. Sadly, it’s especially becoming more valuable and necessary in the world of college admissions. Recently there have been a number of different admissions scandals, some more widely known than others and I can’t help but think if the Admissions staff or administrators were more digitally literate it could’ve been caught sooner.
Just last month, news broke about how dozens of wealthy and/or famous parents paid off a college admissions counselor as well as coaches to cheat and obtain admission into elite universities for their children. This included schemes to obtain higher test scores and pretend the students were athletes by way of falsifying images and documents, which is the part that really alarms me. It makes me wonder if the Admissions staff was properly trained to be more digitally literate and to question the information that comes through, this could have been avoided (although not if the administrators were the ones being paid off!). Whether it includes looking at an image more closely, searching online for potential image matches to determine if it’s the original image undisturbed, or even require more proof than an image or coach’s word that a student plays a specific sport. With staff becoming more visually and media literate, it could have saved these colleges/universities the embarrassment and headaches of lawsuits.
The fact that administrators and coaches at such elite schools would go above and beyond to ensure these students were admitted not because of their ability but because of their parent’s wallet size is frightening and disturbingly unethical. It pains me to think what qualified student wasn’t able to follow their dream because of these greedy individuals. I also shudder to think how many other students and scenarios have gone unnoticed. I just hope the next time someone considers falsifying admissions documents they will think twice. The only silver lining is that, I believe the admissions and sport recruitment process at most colleges and universities across the U.S. will be under a microscope and will (hopefully) put stricter, more digitally literate guidelines in place.
In the current digital age where there are lots of document imaging software available and the potential for doctoring documents is as high as it is, we have to question everything’s authenticity. All of our readings continue to drive that point home, assume nothing is as it appears, question everything!