College Admissions Scandal


Abigail Mestrich, News Editor

On March 11th, 2019, federal prosecutors indicted 50 people who were involved in what is considered the largest college admissions fraud in history. Many affluent parents orchestrated the acceptance of their children into top, prestigious universities. People were shocked to find out that many familiar faces including Lori Loughlin from Full House and Felicity Huffman were a part of this scandal.

This entire scheme was arranged by a man named William Rick Singer, the CEO of a college admissions prep company called The Key. There were two types of scams that Singer would sell: cheating on the SAT or the ACT or using his connection with Division 1 coaches and bribing them into accepting the kids into these universities under the pretenses of athletic credentials.  

For the standardized test cheating, Singer had a third party — usually Mark Riddell — to take the test secretly for the students or replace the test answers of the students. Riddell would bribe the test administrators into looking the other way while he took the test. To get the high results, parents had to pay between $15,000 – $75,000 per test. Riddell released a statement of apologize to all the people who had been affected by his part in the scandal.

For the fake athletic credentials, many parents took part in Singer’s bribing of college coaches and athletic credentials. The coaches aren’t apart of the core decision concerning an athlete’s admittance into the universities, they only recommend the recruited athletes. These parents would photoshop pictures of their children’s faces onto an athletes’ bodies, paying up to $500,000 for an athletic “commitment”. Many of these children never ended up participating in the sports they got accepted for.

Singer was able to accept these payments under the guise of charitable donations towards the Key Worldwide Foundation, purporting a nonprofit to launder the money that the parents paid. Singer, as of now, has plead guilty for all four charges against him.