Amid allegations that wealthy parents paid big-time money to cheat the college admissions system, many high school students in the Boston area are concerned about their futures.
"We all know how far money can go," said Danelia Gossop, a senior at New Mission High school in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood.
Gossop is waiting to hear back about her college applications.
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"It definitely casts a doubt in my mind," she said. "Like, what if my spot is taken already?"
Junior Jada Coplin is also now questioning if the system really is rigged.
"There's a reason why so many rich kids are able to get in," said Coplin. "It's like, 'Oh, so that's what they were doing.'"
New Mission guidance counselor Val Gonclaves says these are some of concerns now being voiced by students there and at other Boston-area high schools.
Gonclaves says some are now wondering if it's even worth putting in the time and effort to pursue their dream schools if the deck is already stacked against them.
"Eighty-three percent of our students are considered low-income students," Gonclaves said. "If our students are not applying, how will they ever get in?"
But Headmaster Dr. Naia Wilson says the worst-kept secret in academia is now finally out in the open and presents a teacheable moment.
"The inequity is very real in education. We have to work just as hard, if not harder," said Dr. Wilson.
Senior Michel Moravia has already been accepted to Darmouth, Boston University and Northeastern University. He says h's proof you don't always need wealth and privilege to get in.
"I come from a working class background, and I still made it. You could, too," said Moravia.