Top universities sued by students after college admissions scandal

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Two Stanford University students filed a lawsuit this week against eight elite universities following allegations that wealthy parents, as well as school coaches and administrators, engaged in a bribery scam to ensure admissions for their children.

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods on Wednesday sued Stanford, the University of Southern California (USC), Yale University and UCLA, among others, arguing they were not given an equal admission opportunity and that their degrees are less valuable because of the scandal, multiple news outlets reported Thursday.

{mosads}The complaint reportedly says “unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission.”

Stanford defended its admissions process on Friday, saying that the suit was “without merit.”

“We believe the lawsuit filed by the students against Stanford is without merit,” the university said in a statement to The Hill. “We take the issues raised through the events of this week very seriously. While we continue to closely examine our policies and processes to see if improvements should be made, we stand behind the integrity of our admissions process.” 

A spokesperson for USC declined to comment, and a spokesperson for UCLA said the university was “aware” of the suit but declined to comment further.

Yale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts on Tuesday released charging documents that implicated at least 40 people in the admissions scam, in which parents were accused of bribing schools to admit their children as athletes and of paying to help their children cheat on entrance exams.

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those charged in what is being called the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

Loughlin, who stars in “Fuller House,” and former “Desperate Housewives” actress Huffman were both charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to charging documents released by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Updated: March 15 at 3:07 p.m.

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