- In an ongoing college admissions scandal, 33 parents have been accused of paying millions of dollars to fabricate their children’s credentials during the college admissions process.
- But there are other, legal ways the ultra-wealthy try to increase their children’s chances of getting into an elite college.
- This includes paying up to $US1.5 million for college consultants or making donations of more than $US10 million to the school their child is applying to, according to The New York Times.
On Tuesday, dozens of people were charged in a college admissions bribery scandal uncovered by the FBI. Among those charged are Hollywood actors, college athletic coaches, business leaders, and CEOs and executives in finance, real estate, and other industries.
Thirty-three parents are accused of paying a collective $US25 million to William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network, to boost their children’s chances of getting accepted into an elite university.
Individual bribes reportedly cost as much as $US6.5 million and fell into two schemes: having their children pose as athletes to become accepted into Division-1 universities or have stand-ins take SAT and ACT exams for their children.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Singer orchestrated the scandal, bribing coaches and university administrators or arranging for test stand-ins. According to charging documents, actress Lori Loughlin and husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli paid $US500,000 to a fake nonprofit to have their daughters, Olivia and Isabella, designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, when neither daughter rowed crew.
How the super-rich can legally buy better chances for their kids
Not all college consultants operate illegally – there’s a whole “shadowy” world where the super-rich can legally buy greater chances for their kids to be accepted into elite schools,reported Dana Goldstein and Jack Healy of The New York Times.
Parents can purchase a five-year package of college admissions consulting from Ivy Coach for up to $US1.5 million, Goldstein and Healy wrote, adding that they might also pay $US300 for a one-hour admissions expert consultation or make multi-millionaire donations to schools.
The latter tactic is common among wealthy parents trying to get their children into top-tier schools, reported Business Insider’s Jacob Shamsian.
Consider Charles Kushner, who gave a $US2.5 million donation to Harvard in 1998 shortly before his son, Jared – who reportedly did not have a high enough GPA or SAT scores – was admitted.
But gifts in that amount may not cut it today.
“In recent years the costs of ensuring special treatment for an application have moved beyond comfortable reach even for the rich,” Goldstein and Healy wrote.
Such donations need to be hefty – a mere $US10 million is “an entry-level gift that might not even get the attention of the admission office,” Steven Mercer, a private college consultant based in Santa Monica, told The Times.
- Read more:
- Here’s the full list of people charged in the college-admissions cheating scandal
- People keep sharing an old Felicity Huffman tweet about school ‘hacks’ after she was charged in the college admissions scandal
- Meet the alleged ringleader of the massive college admissions scandal, William Rick Singer, the owner of Edge College & Career Network
- The FBI busted rich parents for allegedly bribing their kids into elite schools. Here’s the not-so-secret way the superrich game college admissions.
- 8 colleges were named in the massive college-admissions scandal. Here’s how they’re responding.