Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged fifty people in a plot to illegally buy admission to elite colleges like Stanford, Yale and University of Southern California for their children. The U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts, Andrew E. Lelling, deemed the case the “largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted.” Among those investigated by the FBI was a Cornell alumnus charged with fraud for paying $75,000 to rig his daughter’s ACT score. “There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy,” Lelling said, perhaps accidentally highlighting the fact that, legal or illegal, there effectively always has been. This investigation has put what most students already know onto the public’s collective radar: The college admissions process rests on a playing field that is almost vertically tilted in favor of rich applicants. To everyone who has been paying attention, this revelation is almost entirely unsurprising.