College bribery scandal sneaks students into universities

Back to Article
Back to Article

College bribery scandal sneaks students into universities

Danilo Herger ’20

Danilo Herger ’20

Danilo Herger ’20

Vicente Francisco ’19, Copy Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






March was an exciting month for this year’s high school seniors, who have been receiving decision letters from top tier public and private universities.

However, shock unfolded throughout the nation after it was announced that wealthy parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Lori Loughlin (“Full House,” “Fuller House”), were accused of paying millions of dollars toward a college admissions scheme to get their children into top colleges and universities.

Allegedly, the accused paid a consultant, William Rick Singer, who orchestrated the entire asco, which involved post- secondary institutions such as Yale University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and a few others.

Singer, paid in sums as high as $6.5 million, returned the favor to these parents in several ways. Singer and his associates used stock photos that they pulled off the internet — sometimes Photoshopping the face of the child onto the picture of the athlete,” said Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, who spoke at a news conference in Boston. Such images were sent to university sports coaches, who were also bribed to save a recruitment spot for a particular student who did not even participate in the sport.

Senior Diego Bendana stated, “It is a shame to see that people we idolize are taking advantage of [their wealth] by skipping all of the hard work that normal people have to put in to get into college.”

Moreover, Singer is accused of assisting in the cheating of standardized tests, known as the SAT and the ACT. Some parents paid between $15,000 to $75,000 per test, which arranged for a third person, to take the test in a student’s place and replaced the student’s responses with their own. To avoid being noticed by testing administrators, Singer bribed them. The first, Igor Dvorskiy, administered SAT and ACT tests in Los Angeles and the second, Lisa “Niki” Williams, was based in Houston.

To conceal these payments, Singer allegedly disguised the bribes to be sent to his not-for- profit charitable foundation—Key Worldwide Foundation—which was claimed to donate money to low-income students.

Archbishop Riordan High School counselor Vanessa Martinez commented, “[The scandal] is really unfortunate because it discounts everyone else who got in on good merit, most especially students of color and low-income who had to work extra hard to get there versus children of celebrities who didn’t want to go to college in the first place.”

In response to the allegations, alumni and future graduates involved in the investigation speculate that their degrees will not be worth as much because future job opportunities will question if the candidate got into the college based on merit.