The media has shared daily updates on the college cheating scandal, including celebrities and wealthy parents all over the United States. On March 12th, 50 individuals, including William Singer, coaches and administration, and parents, some famous parents such as Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, Felicity Huffman, and other wealthy individuals. These people have been charged with criminal and federal offenses. The following parties are responsible for cheating and scamming their children into college, accepting and giving bribes, and more.
In the center of the scandal, stands William Singer. Many parents turned to Singer to help their children into prestigious colleges and schools. Singer and his team are very experienced and trained in this area. Singer pleaded guilty to bribing SAT and ACT test administrators, college coaches and admissions, and he admitted to telling families involved ahead of the scandal breaking. He has been cooperating with federal agents since September. Last Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to four federal charges and is looking up to 65 years and a $1.25 million fee. He is currently out on bail.
Two of the most well known faces in this scandal are Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 for both of their daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade, to be admitted as recruits to USC’s crew team. There has been no evidence that both Isabella and Olivia were knowingly involved in this. However, there have already been consequences for Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade’s careers, even though the Loughlin has not been convicted yet. The Hallmark Channel has officially stopped working with Loughlin and has stopped all productions with her in it. As for her daughter Olivia, Sephora, a popular makeup company, has stopped working with the daughter on product lines. They released a statement after the scandal broke and have discontinued Olivia’s makeup products. Both Loughlin and her husband, have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Loughlin was released from custody on a one million dollar bond. She claims she did not realize she was breaking the law, and by pleading not guilty, she and her husband could face stiffer penalties for their bribes.
Another familiar face, Felicity Huffman, allegedly paid $15,000 to have her daughters SAT scores changed. Felicity’s husband, William H. Macy, and daughters supposedly had no knowledge of Felicity’s actions, and will likely not be charged. Huffman’s bail was set at $250,000 and is also being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She has pleaded guilty to the charges and could face up to 10 months in jail as a result of her bribe. She also faces a $20,000 fine for her actions.
There have been eight universities involved, and they all reacted to the recent occurrences. The University of Southern California (USC) has taken actions to investigate deeper into these allegations. They are currently keeping students associated with the scandal from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts. The university has also fired their senior associate athletic director and water polo coach. Stanford University has recently fired their head sailing coach, John Vandemoer, after news circulated that he accepted money to recommend two students to admissions. However, neither student attended the university. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) placed men’s soccer coach, Jorge Salcedo, on leave, due to him being charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Two students are currently being reviewed and if found guilty will lose admissions. Georgetown University is currently reviewing twelve current and past students that were associated with Gordon Ernst, tennis coach. Ernst has not coached at the university since 2017, and is being charged with accepting bribes. Wake Forest University fired head volleyball coach, Bill Ferguson, after being charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Ferguson accepted $100,000 bribe to obtain admissions for a single student that had been waitlisted. The university does not plan to punish the student, due to no evidence of them having knowledge of this. Yale University is conducting an investigation after news aired that head women’s soccer coach, Rudolph Meredith, accepted bribes. The university is rescinding admissions to those guilty. The University of Texas at Austin fired men’s tennis coach, Michael Center, after being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Center also accepted bribes to have a single student placed on the tennis team with no past history of playing the sport. The university has not released information on the student. The University of San Diego is conducting an investigation of Lamont Smith, former head men’s basketball coach. Smith left the university in 2018 to coach at University of Texas at El Paso, but recently resigned after being linked to the admissions scandal.
Many people are outraged at the fact that these students have taken the athletic opportunity from hard-working students. Many well-deserving students were denied admission because the spots they would have had were given to students whose parents could write a check to get them accepted into these universities. There are many organizations reaching out to help those disadvantaged students. Here are a few:
- Bright Prospect, a non-profit that helps low-income students work with mentors during the college admissions process.
- One Goal, an organization lead by teachers that helps students go to and graduate from college.
- National College Access Network (NCAN), gives organizations the tools and resources to help disadvantaged youth.
- Equal Opportunity Schools, a foundation that helps low-income students get into Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.
- I Have a Dream Foundation, a foundation that gives tuition support to low-income students from kindergarten through college.
- College Possible, a non-profit that helps students prepare for and apply to college.
- United Negro College Fund (UNCF), an organization that offers African American students scholarship, internship and fellowship programs.
- Gateway to College National Network, helps high school dropouts finish their diplomas.
There are many other organizations that are dedicated to helping students.