USC, Yale among colleges sued by students amid college admissions scandal
Should the kids involved in the college admissions scheme be punished?
The initial plaintiffs, Standford University students Erica Olson and Kalea Woods, filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday, a day after federal authorities said they've uncovered one of the largest college admissions scams ever seen in the U.S.The lawsuit seeks $5 millionon behalf of what the lawyers estimate willbe thousands of plaintiffs whofit the criteria to seek class status.
As of Thursday afternoon, Olsen was no longer involved in the lawsuit and a revised version of the complaint had removed her name. Woods remained in the suit, however, along with three new plaintiffs. The new students hailed from Rutgers, Tulane and an unnamed community college.
The racketeering conspiracy charges were unsealed Tuesday against the coaches at schools including Georgetown, Wake Forest University and the University of Southern California. Authorities say the coaches accepted bribes in exchange for admitting students as athletes, regardless of their ability. (AP)
The students claim they werent given a fair opportunity to be accepted into the elite colleges where they'd applied because some people were allegedly admitted based on fake athletic profiles and distorted SAT and ACT scoresobtained through bribes.
"The students who filed the complaint didnt receive what they paid for to participate in an application process free of fraud," a statement from Zimmerman Reed LLP said. "According to the complaint, these schools represented that their admission process would be based on the applicants merits, considering their character and performance. Instead, the students allege that what they got was a process tainted by bribes and school officials who failed to assure an honest application process."
"Its a straightforward claim and a simple remedy. The students want their money back," the statement continued. "They request that anyone who paid an application fee to any of the eight named universities but was denied admission gets their application fee returned."
Singer would obtain college acceptance letters for his clients' children by either helping them cheat on entrance exams or pretend they were being recruited as an athlete in a school sport, authorities said. The 58-year-old, who ran the for-profit college prep business Edge College & Career Network (also known as "The Key") and the charity Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), allegedly pitched it to parents as the "side door" method to getting into colleges.
Each of the universities were negligent in failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures in place to guarantee the sanctity of the college admissions process, and to ensure that their own employees were not engaged in these type of bribery schemes, the complaint stated.
William "Rick" Singer pleaded guilty to several charges in his college admissions cheating scheme. (AP)
The suit added,"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."
She didnt specify which colleges her son had sought to attend, nor did it specify his ultimate selection, but said those involved in the bribery scheme took away peoples rights to a fair chance at entrance to college, Reuters reported.
Fox News' Bill Mears and Jennifer Girdon contributed to this report.