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  • Bob Brooks

Should Colleges be Sued for Admissions Scam?

I was interviewing College admissions expert John Hupalo yesterday on the show about the College admissions scam which he calls the worst college admissions scandal he has seen in almost 30 years of being in that business. I commented that it was only a matter of time before the lawsuits started. 

This lawsuit was filed today:


"The suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Stanford University students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods accuses each of the universities of being “negligent in failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures in places to guarantee the sanctity of the college admissions process.”

And the suit, which claims more than $5 milllion in damages, says that as a result of the schemes “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.”

Is this lawsuit a credible one?

The students would have to proof they were harmed. This is highly unlikely and looks more opportunist than anything.  

First, based on the case how in the world would an admissions process catch this type of activity? After all, it is impossible to know that a SAT Proctor was on the take and receiving bribes for answers. You would have to approach each applicant with suspicion during the process looking for the fraudulent needle in the haystack.  

Second, how did this harm the students filing the lawsuit? After all, it appears that by playing by the rules the admissions process worked out for them. After all, they are Stanford students. I would like to think there is more basis for a lawsuit than meets the eye. After all, the truly harmed were those who were denied admissions because a student took your spot who obtain that spot because of fraud.

Having said that, there is liability on the part of universities who have taken donations/kickbacks from wealthy benefactors to "help" get their kids enrolled. It would be naive to think that was not happening. Money still talks with a loud voice. That backdoor admissions process creates a cesspool environment for the breeding of fraud - and that is what you got. 

Bottom line - The scam was horrible enough and the judicial process should take its' course for those involved. In fact, it is plain sad on so many levels. Legitimate claims for liability in lawsuits are one thing. Let's not make this any worst by throwing baseless lawsuits on top of it.

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