DeVos: DOE to investigate if federal regs were broken in college admissions scandal

DeVos: DOE to investigate if federal regs were broken in college admissions scandal

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosJudge warns DeVos: 'I'm not sending anyone to jail yet' but it's an option Students ask judge to hold DeVos in contempt over debt collection DeVos security detail could cost taxpayers over M during Trump's first term MORE said Thursday that her department will investigate whether any of its regulations were violated by school officials or others involved in the massive college admissions scam uncovered by the Justice Department this week.

DeVos said in an emailed statement that the conduct of those arrested by federal investigators this week was "disgraceful," while vowing to hold those involved accountable.

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"Every student deserves to be considered on their individual merits when applying to college, and it's disgraceful to see anyone breaking the law to give their children an advantage over others," she told The Hill. "The department is looking closely at this issue and working to determine if any of our regulations have been violated."

It wasn't clear exactly which regulations, if any, in particular DeVos suspects could have been breached. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against more than 40 people on Tuesday over a scam in which wealthy parents orchestrated their children's cheating on college entrance exams, among other allegations.

DOJ officials say that top sports officials at colleges such as Yale, the University of Southern California and Georgetown took bribes and allowed prospective students to apply as student athletes for sports they had never played, in some cases even employing schemes such as altering stock athletic photos to resemble the fake student athletes.

"These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege," U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a news conference.

“All of them knowingly conspired,” he added, “to help their children either cheat on the SAT or ACT and/or buy their children’s admission into elite schools through fraud.”

Among those charged are actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The operation is being called the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice."

-Updated at 2:24 p.m.