Local college counselors say admissions scheme sends a bad message

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ray Maj says he's feeling a range of emotions after news of a college admissions scheme broke earlier this week.

"It's a sad commentary in our society, these days," the college counselor at St. Francis DeSales High School, said. "This whole situation with the scandal caused me a lot of anger and disgust."

For decades Maj has spent his days helping students prepare for higher education. He says hearing that people tried to cheat the system feels like a slap in the face.

"It was sad because what occurred with this scandal, for me at least, diminished or discredited what college admissions counselors, as well as counselors throughout the nation do," Maj told 13abc.

Tuesday, the Justice Department announced charges against 50 people for crimes that happened between 2011 and 2018.

Officials say millions of dollars were spent in an attempt to get students into some of the nation's most prestigious schools.

"We're talking about deception and fraud," Andrew Lelling, U.S. Attorney, said. "Fake test scores, fake athletic credentials, fake photographs, bribed college officials.

While Maj admits the process to apply for college can be overwhelming, he points out that there are people who can walk you through the process.

In the case making headlines right now, most of the students involved were in the dark. That's why Maj has a message for parents.

"I think parents need to be open minded in terms of the schools...I think no matter where a student attends, they can ultimately be very successful," Maj said.