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“The Best Education Money Can Buy”

A nationwide college conspiracy where the wealthiest among us bought their children admissions to America’s top schools.

The FBI calls it
“Operation Varsity Blues”

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1 Scandal: 2 Strategies

Cheating on college entrance exams (with help of proctors). In some cases, someone else took the exams in place of the actual student.

Bribing coaches to admit students as athletes (even when they didn’t play the sport). In some cases, the lies about athletic achievement even included doctored photos.

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Money Matter$

The “admissions consultant” at the heart of scam set up two companies to run his scheme through, one of which was a non-profit organization.

From 2011 – 2019, he raked in $25M. One parent paid $1.2M.

Some parents made payments to the non-profit and then later claimed them as tax deductions.

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“33 parents have been charged… There are more than that but not prepared to give you a total.”

U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. Two parents charged include actresses Lori Loughlin & Felicity Huffman. Prosecutors say it's up to the schools on what to do with the students who were wrongly admitted. Some students had no idea about scandal; others were in on it - prosecutors have not decided whether to charge those students. In all but one case, school officials were not involved directly. Investigation remains ongoing.
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How Much Does An Elite College Degree REALLY Impact Your Future?

  • Jobs: Those with college degrees often have a lower unemployment rate than those without.
  • Earning Power: Research shows elite college degrees can impact earning power for minority & lower income students; impacts women in that they tend to work more hours.
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Nearly 20M students enrolled in college last year. One report says parents pay up to half a billion dollars for coaches to help their kids get into the best schools.

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