Yale is the first university to rescind the acceptance of a student over the national college admissions cheating scandal that implicated 50 people, including celebrities, college administrators and coaches. The FBI investigation, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," discovered that parents paid anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for guaranteed admission into elite colleges and universities.
Federal prosecutors allege that the rich and powerful parents involved in the scam paid $25 million collectively since 2011 to William "Rick" Singer to aid their underqualified students in gaining admission into some of the nation's most elite colleges. Singer allegedly either had someone cheat on their ACT or SAT exams or bribed athletic coaches who accepted students on their team, even if they did not play the sport. Singer, owner of Edge College & Career Network, has already pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy and other charges.
A class-action lawsuit has also been filed against eight colleges implicated in the admissions bribery scandal by students who were denied admission to the schools. The suit, which claims more than $5 million in damages, states that as a result of the scheme "unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission." The suit is seeking repayment of the college application fees students paid to the universities, according to CNBC.
Twelve defendants, including six former college athletic coaches and two test administrators, each pleaded not guilty to racketing conspiracy charges in federal court in what is now considered the "nation's largest-ever college bribery scheme," according to USA Today. If convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 ½ years of court supervision.
The eight colleges currently tied to the admissions cheating and bribery scandal include the University of Southern California, UCLA, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Yale University, Wake Forest University, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of San Diego. Some of the schools implicated in the admissions and bribery scheme already plan to use the money received to fund college scholarships for underprivileged and first-generation students, in addition to conducting in-depth investigations and implementing stronger rules and procedures for future admissions processes.
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