NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt includes a regular feature at the end of its nightly broadcast titled “Inspiring America.” The segment is intended to highlight remarkable people who are making a positive impact on our communities and making the world a little bit better.
It is usually an uplifting feature designed as a bit of good news to counterbalance the often gruesome reports of terrorist bombings, school shootings, and immigration mayhem around the world. However, the May 2 broadcast featured a story that should more appropriately be called “Embarrassing America.” For NBC to celebrate this story as “inspiring” is simply disgraceful. Let me explain.
The story was about Antoinette Love, an 18-year-old high school senior who has amassed 116 college admissions, including $3.7 million in scholarship awards. Antoinette is the oldest of five children in a family that “struggled to make ends meet.” Despite their financial struggle she applied to at least 116 colleges and universities to which she was admitted (despite her remarkable academic record, maybe she was turned down by a college or two).
One can assume that her quest for all these admissions (she can only accept one after all) was a selfish effort to set a national record of some sort, or maybe just a way of showing off her academic prowess. But the story raises a number of other troubling questions.
First, how could the family possibly afford the 116 application fees? The average fee per application is around $60, so one assumes the family shelled out around $6,900 in fees alone. Most schools have provisions for waiver of the fees in hardship cases, so maybe she received a waiver or waivers at some or all of the schools, But, it would seem that a little due diligence on the part of the schools would lead to a denial of a waiver when she was seeking waivers in order to apply to 116 colleges.
Of course, Antoinette’s 116 college admissions mean that 115 other applicants will be getting the dreaded “turn down” letters. Additionally, other deserving student applicants in need of financial aid would be among those denied because of her scoring the $3.6 million in scholarships, That is the sad consequence of her quest to amass as many acceptances as possible. And, NBC decided to celebrate her selfish admissions campaign as “inspiring”… really?
In an interview, Antoinette said wants to become a teacher, to inspire the next generation. To which NBC correspondent Kevin Tibbles comments, “You can do whatever you want!”
In closing the segment Tibbles remarks, “No matter which school she attends, we’ll all be the wiser.” I don’t know exactly whaat his salute was supposed to mean, but shame on you NBC for celebrating this slice of college admissions nonsense. It’s not “inspiring” at all. It’s just sickening.