Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the drama surrounding the college admissions scandal.
At least fifty people including Hollywood stars, CEOs, college coaches and SAT administrators allegedly are involved in a large scheme to cheat on tests and admit students to leading institutions as athletes, regardless of their athletic talents. There’s even rumors of fake athletic pictures! At least eight universities are named in a federal indictment and criminal complaint.
Here are 20 fast facts about the college admissions scandal you need to know.
1. The U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts charged 50 people in federal court as part of a long-running, nationwide conspiracy to illicitly gain admission for high school students to top colleges and universities.
2. The scheme went on from 2011 to early 2019
3. How much money: $25 million
4. Television stars Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House, Fuller House) were charged as part of the alleged scheme
5. Both actresses were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud
6. William “Rick” Singer, based in Newport Beach, California, is the college counselor at the center of the alleged scheme, and apparently had more than 700 clients. There is no indication that all his clients participated in the alleged scheme
7. The allegations include bribing college entrance exam officials to facilitate cheating on college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT; bribing coaches and administrators to designate applicants as recruited athletes (when they were not athletes) to gain admission to colleges and universities; and using a charitable organization to conceal bribery payments
8. Many parents apparently paid $200,000 and up to $6.5 million to have their children admitted to various college and universities
9. According to the Wall Street Journal, the alleged scheme was discovered through an unrelated case involving an executive being investigated for securities fraud
10. The investigation was code-named “Operation Varsity Blues”
11. Some college coaches allegedly took money themselves, while others allegedly gave some money to the college or university
12. Officials from the Justice Department and FBI investigated the case for more than a year
13. Among others, the Justice Department alleges that the colleges and universities impacted include Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Boston University, Northeastern, UCLA, USC, University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest
14. USC announced that six student applicants in the current admissions cycle would be denied admission to USC as a result of the admissions scandal. USC also noted that any funds received in connection with the admissions scandal will be used to fund scholarships for underprivileged students
15. Some parents paid between $15,000 and $75,000 per test to help their children get a better score
16. The University of California said it is investigating anyone from the university system affiliated with those implicated in the scandal. Two of the system's 10 campuses -- UC Berkeley and UCLA -- are investigating current or former students
17. Two Stanford University students filed a federal lawsuit in California that alleges the admission scandal has devalued their degree and may adversely impact their career prospects
18. Justice Department officials noted that it's premature to discuss potential sentencing or financial penalties, but the charges are felonies and could carry jail time
19. In addition to criminal charges, there may be civil lawsuits filed against named parties as well as colleges and universities
20. Of the individuals charged, 33 are parents and 13 are coaches and associates of Singer’s businesses, including two SAT and ACT test administrators
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