Over the past week, a college admissions scandal involving children of two prominent actresses rocked the nation. Although a total of 50 people have been charged so far, Desperate Housewives alum Felicity Huffman and Full House star Lori Loughlin have remained front and center in the news. Understandably, the actresses (and their families) have been widely scrutinized for the illegal manner in which they bribed their kids' ways into elite colleges. Plenty of critics have even called for students involved in the scandal to be expelled. However, it appears that Olivia Jade will not be returning to USC in the wake of the college admissions scandal — out of her own choosing.
As People reported on March 16, Loughlin's 19-year-old daughter Olivia Jade will not resume her studies at the University of Southern California. “She can’t handle anything right now. She seems more and more upset every day. She just wants to stay home,” a source told the publication.
It's still unclear whether Olivia was actually aware of her parents' bribery at the time. But following her mother's indictment and arrest in connection with the admissions fraud, the YouTube star has already suffered the consequences. According to Refinery29, both Sephora and Tresemmé have made the decision to cut ties with Olivia Jade.
“She feels she has worked very hard to get different work deals and everything is just gone. She thought she knew what the future had in store for her, and it all just crumbled,” the source told People. “It’s a never-ending nightmare for her. She understands the serious consequences her parents are facing and she is very scared.”
As a refresher, Loughlin and her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli are both facing felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, CNN reported. Allegedly, the couple paid $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team. Except, they weren't actually on the crew team.
Many have labeled children of parents involved in the college admissions scandal as "entitled" — and Olivia Jade's previous comments about college only add to this perception. In a now-deleted YouTube video from 2018, Olivia Jade was answering questions from fans about balancing her social media career and being a freshman at USC. “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all,” she said, according to Cosmopolitan. “But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” Although Olivia has since apologized for these comments, they've only added fuel to the fire over the past week.
As a parent, I can understand wanting the best for your children. But helping them cheat their way into an elite college is definitely not the way to accomplish this. A part of me feels bad, too, for kids like Olivia Jade who are caught up in the middle of it all. Maybe some of them truly had no idea what their parents had done — and now they're being bullied into quitting. It's a terrible situation all around.
Hopefully, serious change in the college admissions process (and if I'm being honest, the college situation as a whole) can come from this scandal coming to light. And hopefully other desperate-but-rich parents are now keenly aware that their kid getting into an elite college is not worth potentially serving prison time.