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Cheat, Bribe, Lie: The College Admissions Scandal

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Cheat, Bribe, Lie: The College Admissions Scandal

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The college admissions scheme was released on Tuesday, March 12th, and it has stunned the entire country. This scandal is the largest of its kind ever prosecuted and features 50 defendants across six states. Millions of dollars were illegally transferred to the mastermind behind it all: William Rick Singer. Singer is the CEO of a college admissions prep company called The Key. His strategy was quite simple and extremely brazen. He found that cheating on standardized tests, bribing those who decide which children get in, and pretending the illegal money is for charity is the way to go. According to US Attorney Andrew Lelling, “Singer was selling two kinds of fraud: One was to cheat on the SAT or ACT, and the other was to use his connections with Division I coaches and use bribes to get these parents’ kids into school with fake athletic credentials.” In fact, a teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a soccer star recruit at Yale University. The cost to her parents? 1.2 million dollars. A high school boy eager to enroll at the University of Southern California was falsely deemed to have a learning disability so he could take his standardized test with a complicit proctor who would make sure he got the right score. Cost to his parents? At least $50,000. According to CNN, a student with no experience rowing won a spot on the U.S.C. crew team after a photograph of another person in a boat was submitted as evidence of her expertise. Her parents wired $200,000 into a special account. This massive college admissions scandal is a harsh reminder that wealthy families can cheat, lie, and bribe their way to even greater privilege. According to the New York Times, actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among the dozens of parents facing federal charges. Others charged include nine coaches at elite schools; two SAT/ACT administrators; an exam proctor; a college administrator; and a CEO who admitted he wanted to help the wealthiest families get their kids into elite colleges. Singer disguised these bribe payments as charitable contributions to the Key Worldwide Foundation, a non-profit that claimed to help poorer students when in reality it was a front that Singer used to launder the money that parents were paying him. Across the country, parents are outraged that wealthy families cheated their way to elite universities — thereby denying spots for less privileged, harder-working kids. The universities involved are investigating individuals affiliated with the scandal and plan to immediately deny any student who was accepted illegally and unfairly. As of right now, no one is sure of exactly how many people are involved in this scandal or whether more charges will be filed. Updates are flowing in by the hour. Many people believe this scandal is just the beginning and more will be revealed as more uncovering is done. Time will tell…

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Cheat, Bribe, Lie: The College Admissions Scandal