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Why the admissions scandal at UCLA is worse than at USC: It’s a public university

Why the admissions scandal at UCLA is worse than at USC: It’s a public university
Students walk on the UCLA campus is Westwood on Feb. 26, 2015. (Damian Dovarganes / Associatd Press)

To the editor: The admissions scandals at USC and UCLA are different. USC is a private school and can admit anyone it wants. UCLA is a public school and ought to be a meritocracy.

If USC wants to admit rich kids whose parents donate piles of money, it does not owe the public an explanation. In contrast, University of California and Cal State University campuses try to take the most qualified students from the state’s high schools.

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What actress Lori Loughlin and her husband are accused to doing to get their children into elite colleges is indeed a scandal. But the public and the media should stop trying to make a private institution like USC into a meritocracy like UCLA.

Part of USC’s “ charm” is its beautiful spoiled children among all the smart worker bees.

Mark Walker, Chino Hills

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To the editor: The recent stories of well-intentioned parents who ended up scandalizing their children’s college admissions should be a reminder to any of us who have opportunities to be a role model.

Parents who cheat on behalf of their children to get them into elite universities also send the message that they do not have faith in their sons’ and daughters’ talents and intelligence.

However, what’s certain is that today’s ultra-low acceptance rates at top universities and colleges place extra burdens on students that did not exist when I was in school. The limited opportunities for admission ought to remind us that timing is everything, especially for those of us who applied to school shortly after World War II.

I graduated from Stanford in 1952. Boy, was I riding naively on a pink cloud!

Vilma Kennedy Pallette, Santa Clara, Calif.

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