This is from a series of articles, investigation and some damn good journalistic work by those mentioned below.  Michael Barbaro,  Jenny Medina,  Katie Benner,  thank you all very much.  Because I am a fighter for better education and fairness I’m using their data so there are no misinterpretations.  However I had to recreate it for my venue.  The best part, no commercial interruptions.

Sports have both done good and harm to our school systems, we pay someone who puts a ball in a hoop with a scholarship,  but don’t pay the people who secure our children’s future.  Now we have the rich getting their children via a scam into schools where  money thru payoffs to coaches and administrators we call  EDUGATE.  A fellow won a scholarship and entry for a mens rowing team and didn’t know anything about rowing, one coach who has admitted he took bribes totaling 450,000 dollars.


  • Fine the parents an equal amount of their bribe, with minimums,  for the avoidance of jail time.
  • Take the kids out of school, give them credits for courses legally earned.
  • Make them reapply honestly.  How many kids from poorer families had to scratch, and claw, hold down jobs and get good scores to qualify by honest effort.
  • Make sure those who took the bribes and ran the scam get severe jail time.
  • We applaud Hallmark and others who took action against one of their top actresses.

And a President ( T-Rump) for two years running took 17 billion, one year an18 billion out for his stupid projects and installed a moron as the adminstrator, Ms. Betsy DeVos.  
She got the job out of wealth, and a Donald supporter with a two million dollar donation in campaign funds to Donald T-RUMP.  She is a Royal screwball nutcase without qualifications, Evangelically demented, wants to stop funding for anything other than charter schools and basically return the poor to slavery by only funding private and charter schools the poor can’t afford.  Shame on her.  

It’s difficult to think of a scenario that speaks more clearly to the idea of inequity. What this really shows is that there’s all sorts of ways people have been using money and power and influence in this system for years that is completely legal and completely accepted. And it’s perpetuated every single admissions cycle.  Till now...

Fifty people in six states were accused by the Justice Department on Tuesday of taking part in a major college admission scandal. They include Hollywood actresses, business leaders and elite college coaches.


  • A teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a star soccer recruit at Yale. Cost to her parents: $1.2 million.

  • A high school boy eager to enroll at the University of Southern California was falsely deemed to have a learning disability so he could take his standardized test with a complicit proctor who would make sure he got the right score. Cost to his parents: at least $50,000.

  • A student with no experience rowing won a spot on the U.S.C. crew team after a photograph of another person in a boat was submitted as evidence of her prowess. Her parents wired $200,000 into a special account.

In a major college admissions scandal that laid bare the elaborate lengths some wealthy parents will go to get their children into competitive American universities, federal prosecutors charged 50 people on Tuesday in a brazen scheme to buy spots in the freshman classes at Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools.

Thirty-three well-heeled parents were charged in the case, including Hollywood celebrities and prominent business leaders, and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come.

Federal authorities say dozens of individuals were involved in a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme to help students gain admission to elite colleges and universities. Racketeering charges against 12 of the defendants are detailed in this indictment, one of a number of charging documents in the case.

Also implicated were top college athletic coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit undeserving students to a wide variety of colleges, from the University of Texas at Austin to Wake Forest and Georgetown, by suggesting they were top athletes.

The parents included the television star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; the actress Felicity Huffman; and William E. McGlashan Jr  a partner at the private equity firm TPG, officials said.

The scheme unveiled Tuesday was stunning in its breadth and audacity. It was the Justice Department’s largest-ever college admissions prosecution, a sprawling investigation that involved 200 agents nationwide and resulted in charges against 50 people in six states.

The charges also underscored how college admissions have become so cutthroat and competitive that some have sought to break the rules. The authorities say the parents of some of the nation’s wealthiest and most privileged students sought to buy spots for their children at top universities, not only cheating the system, but potentially cheating other hard-working students out of a chance at a college education.

In many of the cases, prosecutors said, the students were not aware that their parents were doctoring their test scores and lying to get them into school. Federal prosecutors did not charge any students or universities with wrongdoing.

“The parents are the prime movers of this fraud,” Andrew E. Lelling, the United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said Tuesday during a news conference. Mr. Lelling said that those parents used their wealth to create a separate and unfair admissions process for their children.


Michael Barbaro  From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.” Today: When a federal prosecutor revealed a $25 million scheme to purchase college admissions for the children of celebrities and executives, he declared, “There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy.”  But there is. It’s Thursday, March 14.

We’re here today to announce charges in the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. We’ve charged 50 people nationwide with participating in a conspiracy that involved —

So according to prosecutors, the first lead in this case came about a year ago.  So this story begins with a totally different investigation.   Federal prosecutors are investigating an entirely separate case when one of the targets in that investigation gave them a huge tip. There could be a bribery and cheating scandal occurring in the college admissions process.

They discovered a man named Rudolph Meredith, a soccer coach at Yale. And they thought that he might be taking money in order to falsely recruit students to the team so they could get into the university.  Once the FBI understands how big a deal this is going to be, and as they investigate and more and more schools become involved — They bring in more and more investigators.  Then they give this a name: Operation Varsity Blue

  • Dozens of actors, coaches and CEO’s among those charged. 
  • The former CEO of Pimco, the investment firm. 
  • Actresses Felicity Huffman who  starred on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,”
  • Lori Loughlin is best known for her role on “Full House.”
  • William McGlashan He’s a senior exec at TPG.

And it all leads back to this guy in Newport Beach, California, who charges somewhere in the ballpark of $15,000 to more than a $1 million to guarantee your kid a spot in a school.  So this guy is Rick Singer.


Hi, my name is Rick Singer, and I’m the founder of The Key.  Singer is a guy in his 50s who lives in Newport Beach, California.   As a father myself, I understand the stress the college admissions process can be. 

He is sort of a player in this world of academic coaches who help students, oftentimes who can pay a lot of money, get into colleges, including some of the nation’s top schools — Yale, Stanford, Harvard.

For the past 25 years, our coaches have been helping students discover their life passion and guiding them and their families through the complex college admissions maze.

He was doing legitimate college counseling work, catering to the wealthy, trying to get their kids to school, but legitimate stuff.

My Key method unlocks the full potential of your son or daughter and sets them on a course to excel in life.

So he does that for several years, then seems to somehow take a break and works in a call center, but then somehow gets back into this and starts making connections for people to get their kids into schools that they want to get to.

Getting into the right college will set the trajectory for the rest of your son or daughter’s life. Don’t leave it to chance. Let a Key coach come alongside you and your family to truly unlock your student’s potential.


Eventually, the FBI lands on Singer’s door.  He looks in all this huge amount of evidence that they’ve got against him.  He thinks about what he’s going to do, and he agrees to flip.

And Singer begins to help the F.B.I.   He agrees to wear a wire. He agrees to go back to the clients that he’s worked with for years and tape, in excruciating detail, what he’s done. He agrees to call all these people he’s worked with — people he’s accepted bribes from and people he’s given bribes to. Some of these are parents. Some of these are coaches. Some of these are associates — people he’s paying off in one way or another.

They’re discussing extremely strange, bizarre, extraordinary measures that very, very few people could imagine ever taking in order to get their kid into school.

There’s sort of two different ways that he operates. The first is this athletic scheme where he amasses a number of coaches at a number of different schools — more than a dozen schools — who agree to accept his bribes and say, I want this person on my team.   All these coaches get special slots for athletes. They get admitted to universities on a totally different track than anybody who’s not an athlete.

So these coaches are communicating with the admissions departments at these colleges. They’re almost getting, like, their own personal bucket of student athletes.  Absolutely, that’s exactly the way it works. You get to say, this is who I want on my team, and the admissions office essentially agrees to go along with what you say. So he’s paying off these coaches in all these different colleges.

And how do the coaches pretend that someone is a legitimate athlete when they’re not? And how do the parents play along with that as well?  So he had a very elaborate scheme in lots of cases. One of his typical ways of operating apparently was to fake photos. In one case, he said, I need a picture of an Asian girl playing soccer. And we’re going to Photoshop the applicant’s face onto this photo.

Almost every case that we know about, this person never played on the team. They would drop out as soon as they arrived on campus. In some cases, the kids didn’t even know that they were expected to play on this team. They created a profile saying that this kid ran track, and he gets to campus and is speaking to a college counselor, and the counselor says, oh, so I see you run track. And the kid says, what are you talking about? He didn’t even know.

O.K., so that’s one scam, this kind of sports coaching method scam. What was the other scam that the F.B.I. discovered?
He talked about how he arranged for students to take their SAT or ACT exams at special sites where he had bribed the proctors on those tests to basically correct the student’s answers. He talked about how he encouraged the parents to get their children tested for disabilities so that they could have more time to complete the exam. He talked about how he would sometimes even have a man — an adult — pose as the students at the test centers that he, quote, unquote, “controlled,” and that adult would take the test for the kids. And this guy was so good at it, he could basically get any score that they wanted.


The world of college admissions for the extremely wealthy is really complicated. So there are three ways to get in. First, you’ve got the front door. There’s tests. There’s grades. There’s your extracurricular activities, your achievement. There’s also the issue of legacies. If your parent went to this college you’re trying to get to, you’ll probably get some extra points. If you play a sport, you might get some extra points so you can be on their team. That’s the front door. And then there’s the back door.

There are so many legal ways that the ultra-wealthy have been gaming the system for a long time to get their kids into school. They donate tremendous amounts of money. They help people build buildings and work on development projects.

PLAN A:  And this is also the world where you have incredibly high-end tutoring. This is not just spending a couple hours learning how to navigate an SAT. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars, many times over years, to come up with all sorts of elaborate ways to brand yourself, essentially, into something that you think will get you into the right college, whatever you consider the right college to be. So then there’s this third door, what Singer referred to as a side door, which is essentially just bribing.

PLAN B:  Cutting out the middleman or cutting out the pretense of anything other than paying people off and bribery. And I think the reason why this case is so fascinating, and we’re sitting here talking about it and everybody is so interested in it, is the difference between these two doors — the side door and the back door. 

Now, if you’re the FBI,  that line is very clear. It’s clear that it is completely illegal to simply bribe somebody to get your kid into the college of your choice. But if you’re one of these parents, where you’re operating in a world where you know many people are paying tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars to universities in an often successful attempt to get your kid into the college, then maybe this doesn’t seem so strange.

Certainly we know it’s breaking the law. And certainly you can tell from the recordings that were transcribed by the prosecutors that the parents knew they were breaking the law. But they also don’t act like breaking the law is a completely big deal. And they seem to operate in a parallel universe, with different consequences for them.

They knew that this crossed a line. They did it anyway. The why of why they did it anyway is actually really interesting and really complicated. It’s not as though if these kids went to college their income potential was going to grow enormously.


They’re already wealthy, and studies have shown that people who go to colleges and are already coming in with wealth do not necessarily see a huge jump in their income over a lifetime. On the other hand, that’s not true for kids who come from poorer families. There is a lot that shows — especially if you go to a highly selective college and if you’re successful, there’s lots of things that show your income potential goes way up.

It is a path to the middle class. That’s what we’ve always thought of college as being — a path to the middle class. But it’s not clear that if you’re already part of the most-upper class, that you need to go to some specific college to stay in that upper class.

So why then? Why do these parents who can afford to participate in this kind of scam — why do it? If there’s no tangible benefit, why take that risk?

I don’t think it’s about economics. That might be part of it, or they might tell themselves that it’s part of it. But it is obviously at least somewhat about status, about maybe being able to put that sticker on the back of your car that says, my student goes to Yale University. Maybe it’s that you want to give your kid some perfect social experience that you think they’re going to have at this right school. 

Or maybe you just want to save your kid embarrassment. Clearly these parents didn’t have a lot of faith in their kids. And what’s also really fascinating here is that it’s not just Ivy League schools. Yale is, of course, the one that is sort of eye-popping. And there’s Stanford, and there’s all sorts of elite schools. There’s also U.C.L.A. But there’s also schools like Wake Forest University and University of Texas at Austin — all schools that they might have been just fine getting into on their own, and are not schools that we think of as holding a lot of cachet in these elite circles. 

So what was that about? Why were they so willing to spend so much money and so much effort and break the law to get into schools? We really don’t know the answer to that yet.

Another way to look at it from the point of view of the parents is that no matter what their motivations are, whether they be social or whether they want an education for their children that they believe is the best education that money can buy, they have this feeling that the kids face really long odds. College has never been more competitive. I think that Harvard accepted about 5 percent of all of the students who applied last year. And they understand that colleges are also looking for a wide array of students as well. 

They don’t want a class just packed with all of the people who can pay full tuition, donate a million dollars to a development fund and continue to give for the rest of their lives because they’re extremely well-heeled. They’re looking for something more. And they might worry that their students are not extraordinary enough to get in. And so they’re going to use the money that they have to try to offset not a systemic inequity, like socioeconomic inequities or racial inequities, but to offset their children’s own inability to get in.

A lot of it seems to be about the certainty of it, about the security. It’s not a question of maybe you will or won’t get into this school. It’s, I’m going to make sure that you have a spot at this specific school that you want to be at, that I know I can get you into. And I am going to be able to breathe a sigh of relief or celebrate or congratulate you much earlier, with much more confidence, than I would if I had gone through the front door, or even if I had gone through the back door.

And where do these privileged kids who were actually implicated in this scheme — where do they fit into all of this?

I don’t know how much of school I’m going to attend, but I’m going to go in and talk to my deans and everyone and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying — I don’t really care about school.

So the kids whose parents participated in this scheme are fascinating. It is clear that some of them knew what was going on, but many of them didn’t. Many of them are probably waking up this week stunned to learn the great lengths that their parents not only went through to cheat on their behalf, but the great lengths they went to to hide it from them.

The parents worked so hard to keep their children from knowing what was going on. And this creates a whole other layer of privilege that we see in education, that we see in business, that we see that these adult parents certainly had in spades — this idea that if you do not know all of the winds at your back pushing you forward, helping you along, you will believe that you deserve everything that you got.

They’ve been operating under the assumption that they earned their spot. They deserve it. And I think this is forcing us to have a conversation, to think about, what does deserving it really mean? What this has done is really laid bare, for all of us to see in plain view, how unequal the system truly is — that if you have enough money, you can buy your way in. But at the same time, there are thousands of students who are taking out massive loans to come in and are desperate to get into higher education, which our country has long believed is the way to get into the middle and upper class. 

It’s supposed to be this system based on your academic merit that’s going to give you a path to get from wherever you started from to where you want to be. But what we’ve seen is that’s not true. If you believe that education, and that a college education specifically, is the great equalizer or can be the great equalizer of our country, what this shows you is that that system is completely broken.


Since the FBI revealed the bribery scheme on Tuesday:   At the center of the sweeping financial crime and fraud case was William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key.

  • Three college coaches from Stanford, the University of Texas and the University of Southern California have been either fired or placed on leave. 
  • Two of the most prominent parents in the case, the chairman of a major law firm and a partner at a private equity company, have also been placed on leave. 
  • The fate of the students involved in the scheme remains unclear. On Wednesday, the University of Southern California said it would investigate any current students connected to the bribery and reject any future applicants who benefited from it.
  • The Hallmark Channel has cut ties with When Calls the Heart actress Lori Loughlin after she was arrested in connection with a college admissions bribery scheme. The network made the announcement Thursday.

“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, said in a statement reported by Variety.  “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”

  • Stanford said Tuesday that Mr. John Vandemoer had been fired.  Stanford University’s head sailing coach, John Vandemoer, took financial contributions to the sailing program from an intermediary in exchange for agreeing to recommend two prospective students for admission.
  • The University of Texas at Austin released a statement Tuesday saying that its men’s tennis coach, Michael Center, has been placed on leave. 
  • And at USC, Donna Heinel, a top athletic director, and Jovan Vavic, the men’s and women’s water polo coach, were terminated. Ms. Heinel received more than $1.3 million in bribes and Mr. Vavic about $250,000 according to federal prosecutors.
  • Mr. Singer instructed at least one parent, Mr. McGlashan, to claim that his son had learning disabilities in order to gain extended time for him to take his college entrance exam alone, over two days instead of one, according to court documents.
  • In one example detailed in an indictment, the parents of a student applying to Yale paid Mr. Singer $1.2 million to help her get admitted. The student, who did not play soccer, was described as the co-captain of a prominent club soccer team in Southern California in order to be recruited for the Yale women’s soccer team. The head coach of the Yale team, Rudolph Meredith, was bribed at least $400,000 to recruit the student.  
    After the profile was created, Mr. Singer sent the fake profile to Mr. Meredith, who then designated her as a recruit, even though he knew the student did not play competitive soccer, according to the complaint.

“The real victims in this case are the hardworking students” who were displaced in the admissions
process by “far less qualified students and their families who simply bought their way in,”...

The authorities said Mr. Singer used The Key and its nonprofit arm, Key Worldwide Foundation, which is based in Newport Beach, Calif., to help students cheat on their standardized tests, and to pay bribes to the coaches who could get them into college with fake athletic credentials.

Mr. Singer used The Key as a front, allowing parents to funnel money into an account without having to pay any federal taxes.  Parents paid Mr. Singer about $25 million from 2011 until February 2019 to bribe coaches and university administrators to designate their children as recruited athletes, which effectively ensured their admission, according to the indictment.

Mr. Singer appeared in federal court in Boston on Tuesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to counts of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice.

He described the students as believing they were taking the tests legitimately, but said that his test proctor would correct their answers afterward. Mr. Singer said he would tell the proctor the score he wanted the student to get, and he would achieve that score exactly.

In his testimony, he referred to his bribery and money laundering schemes as “a side door” method of admission.

“If I can make the comparison, there is a front door of getting in where a student just does it on their own, and then there’s a back door where people go to institutional advancement and make large donations, but they’re not guaranteed in,” Mr. Singer said. “And then I created a side door that guaranteed families to get in. So that was what made it very attractive to so many families, is I created a guarantee.”

One of the prosecutors, Eric S. Rosen, said that Mr. Singer had in some cases falsified students’ ethnicities and other biographical details to take advantage of affirmative action.

Mr. Singer also described how, after he became a cooperating witness and was told by the prosecutors and the FBI that he could not talk to anyone about the case, he tipped off several families that he was wired and warned them not to incriminate themselves in conversations with him.  The judge set sentencing for June 19, and Mr. Singer was released on a $500,000 bond.

Most elite universities recruit student athletes and use different criteria to admit them, often with lower grades and standardized test scores than other students.  Mr. Singer helped parents go to great lengths to falsely present their children as the sort of top-flight athletes that coaches would want to recruit.

Mr. Singer fabricated athletic “profiles” of students to submit with their applications, which contained teams the students had not played on and honors they had not won. Some parents supplied “staged photographs of their children engaged in athletic activity,” according to the authorities; Mr. Singer’s associates also photoshopped the faces of the applicants onto images of athletes found on the internet.

“This is an extreme, unsubtle and illegal example of the increasingly common practice of using money to get an edge in the race for a place in an elite university,” said Christopher Hunt, who runs College Essay Mentor, a consulting service for applicants.

In its investigation, known internally as Operation Varsity Blues, the government focused on the 33 indicted parents. Those parents were willing to pay between $15,000 and $75,000 per test, which went to college entrance exam administrators who helped their children cheat on them by giving them answers, correcting their work or even letting third parties falsely pose as their children and take the tests in their stead, according to the indictment.

The government said that Mr. McGlashan’s son was told to take the exam at one of two test centers where Mr. Singer worked with test administrators who had been bribed to allow students to cheat. And Mr. Singer told Mr. McGlashan to fabricate a reason, such as a wedding, for why their children would need to take the test in one of those locations.

Mr. McGlashan’s son was unaware of the scheme, according to court documents.

Mr. McGlashan did not respond to an email seeking comment. TPG said that it had placed Mr. McGlashan on indefinite administrative leave effective immediately as a result of the charges.

When Mr. Singer explained the scheme last June to Gordon R. Caplan, co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Mr. Caplan laughed and said, “And it works?” according to a transcript of a recorded phone conversation between the two men captured in a court-authorized wiretap.

Dozens of people were charged in what the authorities said was a scheme to get students admitted to top schools, including the University of Southern California.

Mr. Singer told Mr. Caplan that his daughter would not know that her standardized test scores had been faked.

“Nobody knows what happens,” Mr. Singer said, according to the transcript of the call. “She feels great about herself. She got a test score, and now you’re actually capable for help getting into a school. Because the test score’s no longer an issue. Does that make sense?”

“That does,” Mr. Caplan said. According to prosecutors, Mr. Caplan paid $75,000 for the service.

In a letter to the college community, Wanda M. Austin, the interim president of the University of Southern California, said, “It is immensely disappointing that individuals would abuse their position at the university this way.”  Like other college administrators, Dr. Austin said she did not believe that admissions officers were aware of the scheme or took part in it, and she described the university as a victim.

The U.S. Department of Education has notified the eight universities named in the scandal — Stanford, Yale, Wake Forest, the University of San Diego, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin and UCLA — that it’s opened an investigation into their admissions practices for possible violations of federal financial aid laws.


On Thursday, state lawmakers announced a new package of six bills in response to the disgusting admissions spectacle

  • AB697, which would bar universities that offer legacy admissions from receiving Cal Grants. 
  • AB1383 would require more approvals for candidates, often athletes, who are admitted “by exception.” 
  • An as-yet-untitled non-binding resolution would recommend that the University of California and California State University systems phase out the SAT and ACT exams in admissions.
  • AB1342, which would require private admissions coaches to pay an annual registration fee with the state. 
  • AB136 would prevent those charged in the scandal from taking a tax deduction for their phony donations. It’s hard to argue with AB136. There’s just no circumstance under which those accused of this crime should be allowed to use the alleged fraud amounts as a tax write-off.
  • The sixth proposal would direct the state auditor to look for potential fraud within California’s public university systems.

California’s public universities can make their own decisions about admission requirements. How would a new state database have prevented this mess? As currently written, AB697 could backfire badly on lower-income students, who are the primary recipients of the Cal Grant program.  Universities aren’t going to stop enrolling wealthy legacy students, so let’s not encourage them to reject low-income ones.