College Entry Scandal Came From an Unexpected Tip

Financial exec in securities fraud probe told investigators of bribe request, hoping for leniency
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 11:40 AM CDT
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This photo shows the iconic Tommy Trojan statue at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. USC is one of many colleges and companies moving swiftly to distance themselves from employees swept up in a nationwide college-admissions scheme.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – In the wake of this week's massive college-admissions scandal comes the first, though likely not the last, lawsuit. Two Stanford students are suing their own university, along with Yale, USC, and other schools caught up in the mess, reports Bloomberg. They say they were denied entry to their first-choice colleges while a "rigged" system was in place. They also say the scandal will devalue their Stanford diplomas because future employers will wonder if they got in thanks to bribes. Details and related developments:

  • First student: One of the two, Erica Olsen, says Yale rejected her despite "stellar" test scores and athletic achievements, reports USA Today. "Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school," the lawsuit states. "She also did not receive what she paid for—a fair admissions consideration process."
  • Second student: Kalea Woods makes a similar complaint against USC, saying she "was never informed that the process of admission at USC was an unfair, rigged process, in which parents could buy their way into the university through bribery and dishonest schemes."
  • The unraveling: The Wall Street Journal reports that the case began last spring when a financial exec being investigated for securities fraud and hoping for leniency offered up a tip: He said the women's soccer coach at Yale had asked for a bribe to get the exec's daughter admitted. The story details the subsequent investigation, including how alleged mastermind William "Rick" Singer wore wires into families' homes.

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