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The college admissions scandal is one more example of the integrity gap

Felicity Huffman
(Image credit: Felicity Huffman (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images))

There are no small lies.

Recently, 50 people were indicted in federal court for paying huge sums to get their kids into elite colleges. The CEO of an admissions prep company was paid millions over decades by wealthy families to arrange cheating on standardized tests and bribery of college sports coaches to recruit students for their teams.

One prominent Hollywood couple is charged with paying bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters recruited for a university crew team – even though neither had ever competed in crew.

Other parents paid bribes of up to $75,000 to have a third party take standardized tests in the students’ place or replace the student’s incorrect answers. Why didn’t the proctors notice a 30-something man taking a test for a female teen? They were bribed.

What is at the root of this scandal? Privilege, entitlement and selfishness come to mind, but I believe the root cause is integrity — the absence of it.

A person of integrity would not pay thousands of dollars to cheat on college admissions tests or to bribe college coaches or proctors of admissions tests.

In today’s three-minute video episode just for SmartBrief readers, I outline how people of integrity can navigate these tumultuous waters in their communities and in their workplaces.

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