Creating the right expectations in light of college admissions scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If there's one thing we are all learning from the college admissions scandal it'ss society's overemphasis on "where" a child goes to school. That, in turn, has sometimes contributed to the so-called "cheat" or "be cheated" mentality.

Desirae Zuniga is a college student at San Francisco State. She tells ABC7 News it's what you do in college that matters more than where you go.

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"I go to San Francisco State, I don't go to UCLA or USC, but it's what I make of what my education was at SF State," said Zuniga.

It was then repeated by Denise Pope, the co-founder of Challenge Success, an organization looking for strategies for better learning.

"How you engage with professors, if you study or if you don't, if you join an activity, if you get to apply your learning in an internship, all of that matters far more," said Pope.

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Studies show that getting into a top college seldom gives you the networking power you think you'll get by attending that school.

Another unfortunate reality is that most students cheat not only on tests but in general.

Challenge Success conducted a survey of more than 200,000 college students.

"There's this mentality that they tell us, if everybody is cheating and I don't cheat, I'm the sucker so it's cheat or be cheated," explained Pope.

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And in many cases, it starts with the parents.

We looked over the transcript of the conversation that a father involved in the scandal had with the person who arranged to have someone help his daughter cheat on the SAT. The daughter ended up receiving a high score but apparently, that wasn't enough.

Father: "If you had wanted to, I mean my daughter's score could have been 1550 right?"

The witness then responded: "No. Cause I would have got investigated for sure based on her grades."

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"They're not teaching their kids that they need to work for what they want, they're teaching them you can just pay for it and it's ok," said Zuniga.

Pope says our purpose as parents is to help them be independent.

"You are worthy and we see you for what you are and we're not trying to make you into somebody you are not, that is probably the most important thing a parent can say to their kids," expressed Pope.

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