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Feds uncover admissions test cheating plot

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Replies to: Feds uncover admissions test cheating plot

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22972 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    3.Athletic scholarships of close to $24M ($21M of it was non-need based)

    Athletic scholarships are not need based. If $3M of the $24M was 'need based', it was probably need based scholarships that had to be included in the athletic scholarships because of reporting required by the NCAA or perhaps in sports not included in NCAA with unlimited sports (men's crew, squash)
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  • RandyErikaRandyErika 475 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    From the FAQ section of the Stanford information on college admissions case:
    What will Stanford do if it discovers that a student did not provide accurate information on an application for admission?

    Applicants to Stanford sign a statement verifying that the information they are providing is accurate. If it is found to be inaccurate, they can be disenrolled from the university or have their admission cancelled, as has regretfully happened in the past.
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  • jzducoljzducol 734 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 5
    LA Times wrote:
    Singer fashioned a fake profile that described her as a competitive sailor despite there being no indication she competed in the sport.

    I would be curious to see what she really put down in her app. Its not inconceivable being a billionair's daughter and growing up in a coastal city in China she had sailing lessons and knew how to sail. If she did not list any competition awards but just claimed being a "competitive sailor" with a competitive nature I don't know if it constitutes being fake or just gross exaggeration.
    edited May 5
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 18303 replies157 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would be curious to see what she really put down in her app. Its not inconceivable being a billionair's daughter and growing up in a coastal city in China she had sailing lessons and knew how to sail. If she did not list any competition awards but just claimed being a "competitive sailor" I don't know if it constitute fake.

    It's inconceivable to me that Stanford would expel a student who said on her application merely that she was a competitive sailor, if in fact she had competed in sailing.
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  • jzducoljzducol 734 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 5
    @Cardinal Fang No, we know she is not a competition experienced sailor. The issue is how she presented herself as a "competitive sailor", did she list awards, or enter some local level races or just compete with friends. If she listed specific prestigious awards that she didn't get then its indeed false info.
    edited May 5
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2243 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 5
    3.Athletic scholarships of close to $24M ($21M of it was non-need based)

    Athletic scholarships are not need based. If $3M of the $24M was 'need based', it was probably need based scholarships that had to be included in the athletic scholarships because of reporting required by the NCAA or perhaps in sports not included in NCAA with unlimited sports (men's crew, squash)

    That info is straight off the 18/19 CDS as linked above...need-based athletic scholarships of $2.86M....only the Stanford IR dept knows what's in that amount shown on the CDS. I agree the likely suspects are athletic scholies in non-NCAA sports like men's crew and/or M/W squash and/or NCAA reporting rules.

    There are other schools reporting need-based athletic money as well on their CDSs. USC (calif), Tulane, Butler, I could go on, but will stop there.
    edited May 5
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  • websensationwebsensation 2106 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This Singer guy sure helped to screw up many people’s lives. And there probably are many more he and others like him helped to get in illegally.
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 771 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    He's stated he had over 700 clients over the years. So I'm sure there are many more who got in illegally and will get away with it (and some likely got in with his above-board help with no fraud involved.) It would be interesting to know the details about if, how, and when people decided to cheat.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22972 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd like to know what Singer charged to the clients directly, not what they paid to the foundation (which should be reported to the IRS). What did people like Phil Mickelson pay for the legit services they received? If LL only paid the foundation, then she should know that there was something wrong with the arrangement. If she paid $20k or so to Singer for the application prep, for essay review or other things all consultants charged, I think that helps with the argument that the clients thought it was a legit business.
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  • EENYMumEENYMum 198 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The target letters to students is interesting. Suggests the government has more information other than falsifying sailing credentials.
    Wondering if any other schools have expelled students other than Stanford and Yale? Georgetown? Northwestern? USC?
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 771 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 5
    I would think that all his clients paid the legit services fee and then the other fraudulent "services" were extra but who knows. $50-60K seems to be the going rate near me for SAT prep, essay help, and general hand holding. I could see a legitimate business at first and then Singer feels people out for how willing they are to break the rules.

    But many pages back, I posted a link to an interview with a consultant (who knows Singer) who said he sells different levels of packages of his services and some were well over $1million. I'm really curious what one is buying for that!
    edited May 5
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1892 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 5
    @EENYMum , USC rescinded admission of some of the people involved https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-the-wake-of-operation-varsity-blues-admissions-rescinded-at-usc/2019/03/14/26ba5164-4688-11e9-8aab-95b8d80a1e4f_story.html?utm_term=.b4722f275901
    I heard there was a petition at Georgetown to rescind admissions and degrees of those involved in the scandal, but I haven’t seen any news that that has actually happened there.
    There was a basketball player whose admission got rescinded from northwestern in March but there was no indication that it was connected to this.
    edited May 5
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  • OneMoreKidOneMoreKid 47 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited May 6
    There may be a much larger scandal - Encouraging many (to meet certain quotas) who may have done better for themselves in trade schools, etc. For example, there's an ongoing discussion in our local paper (articles and letters to the editor) about a 1st generation student from Vietnam at a local Ivy League university who "can't" get a job (and is incessantly whining about it) while our 1600 SAT, 34 ACT, 8 5's on all 8 AP's, All-State Orchestra, President of a legit charity, all-around really nice kid, hard worker to the extreme, writer of essays that would make your heart melt and not one second of an admissions coach gets rejected or wait listed at 5 of these disaster areas.
    With the environment discussed at length in this thread I feel like it's a blessing for not only him, but also for the school that landed him; not to mention the future employers who are specifically looking for his qualities.
    There are two wait lists, but I'm hopeful that he'll pass (his decision) if there's an acceptance.
    The whole thing is both obnoxious and insane. Not bitter, but very bothered about what this all has become.
    A real disservice to the entire institution of education.
    Brutal.
    edited May 6
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  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 639 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    In Zhao's case, don't forget that Stanford sailing team received a $500k donation from Singer/Zhao family, and the sailing team's coach was involved in Zhao's falsified application. So it's not that Zhao was expelled because of one lie in her application. And she lied in the video about her "full-ride" scholarship from Stanford. She is not as innocent as someone on this thread made her to be.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1892 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @hzhao2004 also, if you look at earlier statements by Stanford on what must be a then-unidentified Zhao judging by the details released, they say “Authorities determined some of the information in the student’s application was false, including “fabricated sailing credentials.” The wording implies it wasn’t only the sailing info that was fabricated?

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/College-admissions-scandal-Stanford-kicks-out-13750001.php

    Also I perhaps missed this at the time but the article also says of the other two Stanford applicants linked to the sailing coach /Singer ring, “One student was denied admission and the other enrolled at Brown University.” Did anyone see anything from Brown?
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 18303 replies157 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For example, there's an ongoing discussion in our local paper (articles and letters to the editor) about a 1st generation student from Vietnam at a local Ivy League university who "can't" get a job (and is incessantly whining about it) while our 1600 SAT, 34 ACT, 8 5's on all 8 AP's, All-State Orchestra, President of a legit charity, all-around really nice kid, hard worker to the extreme, writer of essays that would make your heart melt and not one second of an admissions coach gets rejected or wait listed at 5 of these disaster areas.

    Whoa there. Are you hinting that colleges are taking underqualified Vietnamese-Americans to fill some kind of quota? There are plenty of academically qualified Vietnamese-American kids. Around here, when I glance at the paper for the top students in this or that school, when I look at math contest results, or the big spelling bee, there are always plenty of Vietnamese names, even thought we don't have an enormous Vietnamese population. Vietnamese-American kids at least around here are over-represented among the top academic kids, and I believe that is true all across the country.
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 18303 replies157 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Also I perhaps missed this at the time but the article also says of the other two Stanford applicants linked to the sailing coach /Singer ring, “One student was denied admission and the other enrolled at Brown University.” Did anyone see anything from Brown?

    The indictment reported that in one of the cases, the parents gave money to Singer to bribe the Stanford sailing coach, but the student then deferred admission, and enrolled in a different school the next year. If that was the student who went to Brown, we don't know anything that would make Brown want to expel him or her. Maybe this student didn't know anything about the scheme, or maybe the student found out and said they wouldn't be a party to it.
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  • observer12observer12 319 replies0 threadsRegistered User Member
    The link to the transcription of the guilty plea of the Stanford sailing coach was interesting.

    "MR. ROSEN: He took the money into his sailing program. There's not the allegations in this one that he took the money personally into his bank account.
    THE COURT: So he got no benefit personally, financial benefit personally?
    MR. ROSEN: The benefit was that he was able to purchase boats and things for his program. We do believe that there was a personal benefit, just not financially to his own bank account.
    THE COURT: But it's different from the other case?"

    It is mysterious why the Stanford coach was so quick to plead guilty here. Despite the prosecution not mentioning this at all, the judge immediately noticed something odd -- that the coach got no benefit personally or financially. And the judge seemed like he might have been sympathetic to that argument since he brought it up out of the blue to distinguish it from other cases where the coach did personally benefit financially. The prosecutor had to go out of his way to justify the prosecution by insisting that anything that helped the Stanford sailing program was a personal benefit for the coach. Say what? Imagine if the Harvard fencing coach was prosecuted on the grounds that anything that helped Harvard fencing helped him personally?

    Now maybe it is possible that there is more to this that we aren't seeing. If you read that transcript, the prosecutor is very careful to use the words that this coach did not help the candidate's application "in any material way". So maybe the coach helped her "a little"? Why use those words instead of just saying the coach did not help this candidate at all? Maybe that explains his guilty plea?

    I also noticed that what the federal prosecutor Rosen states happened is actually different than what this coach admits to when the judge asks him directly:

    "THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Vandemoer, can you please tell me in your own words what, if anything, you had to do with these three -- or any program concerning students who not otherwise would be admissible or admitted into Stanford?
    THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor. These -- Rick Singer brought each of these -- just like the prosecution said, brought each of these recruits to me. The first one I ultimately, as the prosecution said, did nothing with. The other two, I inquired with admissions about their academic ability to be into Stanford, and they gave me a pink envelope for each of those. In return, Mr. Singer said that those families would be interested in donating to the Stanford Sailing Program to Stanford University if they were admitted."

    The coach is confessing to something that is very different than what the feds are saying. There is no quid pro quo since saying that a family "would be interested in donating" to the athletic department if they are admitted seems to be what most people agree is perfectly fine at elite colleges.

    Interesting that this prosecution of the Stanford coach seems to be based on the feds saying that those kinds of promises are just as illegal as paying up front for admissions. Do the colleges themselves agree? Will they research any donations that came after admissions and see if each of those athletes admitted with the donation had real (not faked) athletic resumes that were at the very same level as the recruits whose parents did not make donations?

    I wonder who the coach's lawyer was. If the entirety of his "lawbreaking" is what he confessed to in the indictment, it's surprising he pleaded guilty.
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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 6
    on some of the soccer forms there's wonder about what's going to happen with UCLAs womens soccer. Perennial top 4 team; admitted someone who was never going to play and dropped off the roster but was on it first year; so coach had to know. UCLA literally gets their players from the national teams, and yet they put someone who was a recreation league level player as a recruit. Think UCLA is just hoping no one cares about women's soccer so maybe it will just pass.

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/04/08/parents-of-ucla-soccer-player-lauren-isackson-to-plead-guilty-in-admissions-scandal/
    edited May 6
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