Largest college admissions cheating bust


Expel the kids that were involved in the scam, whether they knew about it or not. Revoke the degrees of everyone that graduated after gaining entrance via the scam. Come down hard on every case, no matter the wealth or fame of their parent(s). Replace the kids currently in school with kids that have earned the spot via merit.


There’s almost zero chance of this happening. The schools would face so many lawsuits, they’re not going to expose themselves to that liability. Moreover, I’m personally highly doubtful of the equity of going after students who we don’t know were actually complicit.

Hopefully the authorities will go after the parents (and any kids that they have evidence of directly participating) and the facilitators hard. But beyond that, I’d be very surprised (and wouldn’t support) consequences for all the students.

If there was additional shenanigans while they were in school, that’s a different story.


No. We don’t live in a country where the children are to be held accountable for the crimes of their parents, and that’s not something we need to bring back either. They should scrutinized, but if they did the work for their degree, they did the work.If they participated, then they get charged as criminals for being a part of the crime… it has nothing to do with them being children. We know one of them gave at least one school a chance to uncover all of this because he was honest about not being in track. He should not be punished for that.


If they didn’t met the basic requirements of the school, I have a tough time understanding why they would still be in the school.

If I lied on my resume to get a job and somebody found out, I would be out of a job. If I lied to the US government about my wages, and I got caught, I would be fined or in jail. If I lied to Congress about my connections to the Russian Government, I would be under investigation, although.

The point is, you make the argument ‘If the cheating did not occur, would the student be at this college?’. If not, than I don’t see how they could stay at that college.


They should get credit for the courses they have completed, and then be dismissed and forced to reapply on their merits. If they merit admission, they should get it. Otherwise, their credits can transfer to wherever they get in.


The distinction, of course, is the “I”. If your friend, who recommended you for the job, altered your resume to secure a referral fee, without you knowing, you should also be out of a job? There’s a huge difference between punishing those who committed bad acts and those who benefited from those acts, but did not knowingly participate.

There are a number of kids in most public school districts who’s parents fudged their residency to get them in better schools. Often, these are low income families. Should the kids be expelled for that?

Again, I highly suspect that doing what you guys propose would mire the schools in hundreds of lawsuits. It will not happen for practical reasons, alone, even if you ignore the equity of such action.


Well some of them already graduated. If they did the work for their degree, there is no reason to take it. If they didn’t know about the scheme, what exactly does expelling them solve?


I agree with you, for students who have already graduated.

Expelling them means that they have to be admitted based on their actual merits, rather than the fake ones. I thought that would be obvious.


I think the students that already graduated just get to skate and join the ranks of the privileged rich that get away with everything like always.


Yeah, this is the crux of it. If they graduated, then that (presumably) means that they did the work necessary to get the degree. Unless they can point to evidence of cheating while in the classes, that degree is valid.


If my parents stole $1,000,000 and put it in a trust fund for me, without my knowledge, then it was later discovered, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get to keep that $1,000.000. I don’t see the difference in that theft vs. illegally obtaining a spot at a school. Especially for kids still attending - why should they get to stay? Their parents are filthy rich - it’s not like they’ll be out on the streets. They’ll just learn the lesson that they get to keep illegally obtained spoils.


Parents that are willing to pay $500k to get their kid into a school aren’t going to want Ds and Fs in return. They’ll get their grades one way or another.


It is acceptable and a practice to review work for degrees. They can investigate that, and that would be fine. If they are caught cheating, then of course they can take the degree.

I feel like we need to step back here and remember, these are children obviously being led by terrible parents. We shouldn’t just punish kids because they are privileged and have awful parents. This has to be done right and not just for revenge.


I get what you’re saying but don’t forget that every spot filled by an undeserving kid means that a more deserving, less privileged kid is screwed over. By allowing them to stay, it just perpetuates the inequality in yet another facet of life for the non-wealthy.


A version of this happened to me. A recruiter completely changed my resume when submitting it to an employer. I found out at the last minute. I brought a real version of my resume with me, explained that the recruiter changed a lot of it without my knowledge. I got the call I got the job before I got 100’ out the door.


Am I missing something? The obvious answer seems to be “yes”. Unqualified is unqualified.


Funnily enough, I know a person who has intimated fairly clearly that their criminal grandparents laundered money into trusts under their and their sibling’s SSN’s and wound up losing it to the grandkids in the end through some form of financial shenanigans. I don’t know all the specifics, though I’m sure Uncle Sam would like to ;-)


Yeah if we had a way to Undo that I am sure we would, but we don’t. If someone is in their 4th or 5th year in college when they’re caught up in this, removing them doesn’t make room for a new freshman. It doesn’t really work that way. Their work should be reviewed and if it’s good, let them finish.

Well lying about a degree, or crimes, is one thing but the resume stuff is not new. Unless it’s a major like saying you graduated when you didn’t why would you fire someone who has been doing the job well for years?

The entire way we hire people sucks anyway. Half of them are an exercise in the use of a thesauras with regular people doing regular people things trying to explain away even the most minor gaps in employment and all of that can blown out of the water just because someone else knows a guy.


Even if their work isn’t good, their parents have been paying the school money for their children to attend. You can’t just nullify that agreement because you (the school) screwed up and gave the kid grades they didn’t deserve.


How do you know this actually happened? The only thing we know is they have false SATs and faked athletic backgrounds. There’s no proof that these students received grades they didn’t deserve while they were at college. The coaches and admission counselors do not control their grades.