Saturday 23 March 2019

Students file civil lawsuit amid college admissions scandal

Pleaded guilty: William Singer
Pleaded guilty: William Singer

Clémence Michallon

Two Stanford students have filed a civil lawsuit alleging they were denied a fair opportunity to be admitted to Yale and the University of Southern California - amid the ongoing college admissions scandal in which 50 people are accused of participating in what authorities have described as a large-scale bribery scheme.

Lawsuits began emerging a day after federal prosecutors said a California company made about $25m (€22m) from parents seeking spots for their children in top schools including Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California and Yale University.

Fifty people, including 33 parents, have been criminally charged in the nation's largest known college admissions scandal. The accused mastermind, William Singer, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.

In one civil lawsuit, Stanford students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods said they were denied a fair shot to gain admission to Yale and USC because of alleged racketeering, and said their degrees from Stanford will be devalued because prospective employers might question whether they were admitted on merit.

Another lawsuit by Joshua Toy and his mother said he was denied college admission despite a 4.2 grade point average, and seeks $500bn (€441bn) of damages from 45 defendants for allegedly defrauding and inflicting emotional distress on everyone whose "rights to a fair chance" to enter college was stolen.

The defendants in that case include Singer and accused parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

More lawsuits are likely to follow.

Irish Independent

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