Actresses, CEOs arrested in nationwide college admissions cheating scam

whatsinaname

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,501
In India, there's a percentage of student intake set aside as 'donation seats' in STEM schools so this kind of behaviour is actually codified!

Funny thing, I am in the middle of watching a Korean drama called Sky Castle that actually centers around this stuff.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-education-drama/box-set-tv-drama-stirs-debate-over-south-koreas-cutthroat-education-culture-idUSKCN1PS01X

“SKY Castle” follows several ambitious families as their drive to send their children to the country’s best universities and secure lucrative jobs leads to identity fraud, suicide and murder.
Demand for specialized university entrance coaches has also increased, after the show depicted a university admissions coordinator going beyond school records to guide everything from sleeping patterns to friendships.

It's a little weird to me that Americans still seem to be so obsessed with standardised testing - SAT, GRE etc. Pretty much nobody else incorporates standardised testing into their tertiary admissions as much as the US does.
Yeah no, entrance exams are literally treated like a life and death scenario in India, China, South Korea and Japan. (And that's only the ones I know of). Cram schools and tutoring are multi-billion dollar industries.
 

Vyer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,708

I think a lot of people are missing this. The application asked for a writing sample as an example of your current writing style.

This student thought they wanted to see what their handwriting was like and provided a sample. THAT’S why they’re a moron.
👍 thanks for giving some context here
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,565
Yeah no, entrance exams are literally treated like a life and death scenario in India, China, South Korea and Japan. (And that's only the ones I know of). Cram schools and tutoring are multi-billion dollar industries.
Yeah. The idea that entrance exams are treated special in the US laughably ignores countries where they can literally make or break your entire future
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,947
I just read that a cooperating witness said that William Macy was is on the scam as well. I wonder why he hasn't been arrested, too.

https://www.seattlepi.com/education/article/Tweets-Felicity-Huffman-Lori-Loughlin-college-SATs-13682502.php
Court papers say a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan."
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,888
I was also a really good test-taker. I'm semi-convinced that having annual IOWA tests in grade/middle school was just a lesson in how to fill in bubbles. Got a 29 on the ACT with no prep; retook it for a 31. Took the SATs for shits and giggles - got a 1390, also no prep. Granted, I knew I was set for state school (Kent State University specifically, so I could have my own house).

Did that mean I killed college? Nope, not at first. Was sub-3.0 for my first year and a half (eventually got that to 3.4; then 3.6 in post-undergrad; 4.0 in grad, though!), and I really heated college at first. What actually made me good in college was being in college. I always tell my students that the hardest part is simply acclimating to an environment where you have responsibility - to make your way to class, to manage your time, to pace your assignments and studying, etc. Granted, I didn't party or go out much, but I also skipped classes regularly and stayed home to watch TV or play video games. My post-undergrad is when I really engaged with the environment and started building a CV. My learning curve was long and winding.

By contrast, my younger cousin who is set to be valedictorian or damn close, with tons of extracurriculars and a 35 ACT, has been rejected by Stanford. Granted, he was wait-listed by UM and accepted on early admission to Ohio State. But, and this gets to the cost of high expectations, his mom has him convinced that Ohio State isn't good enough. If she had the power to do what Loughlin did she would in a heartbeat, complaining all the while about all those "undeserving" kids.

Which really gets to the point where we need to reevaluate this idea that there are only 20-30 good schools. You can get a fine education, with connections and internships and extracurriculars and more, nearly anywhere. So fucking what if your kid couldn't get into Yale?



Admittedly, my fields (social sciences and humanities) rely a lot on GREs. I got lucky on those, again I'm a good test-taker, with a 90% verbal and a perfect 6.0 on writing (my fields eschew the math section, which I was 50% on).

What honks me off is that my scores are now over 5-years-old, so any potential doctoral program might want me to retake that.
Your aunt is crazy, Ohio State is a great school.
 

cameron

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
6,034

Variety

✔@Variety


Lori Loughlin’s Bail Set for $1 Million; Judge Sets Travel Conditions https://wp.me/p2WgDE-1jqlxx

6:21 PM - Mar 13, 2019

Variety: Lori Loughlin’s Bail Set for $1 Million; Judge Sets Travel Conditions

Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, facing a charge of mail fraud in connection with the widespread college admissions bribery scheme.
Judge Steve Kim set her bail at $1,000,000, the same amount as her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who is also being charged. Giannulli was not in court on Wednesday. The bond is secured against the couple’s home, as well as their other assets.
Kim was originally reluctant to allow Loughlin to continue travelling to Vancouver for work, saying “I”m not comfortable giving her a passport for that kind of travel.” But he relented and set conditions that she be allowed to travel as long as the court is aware of her destination and length of stay.
Her attorney Marc Harris explained that she is under contract for two more projects in April and May as well as a series slated to begin in July, all shooting in Vancouver.

Loughlin will also face charges in Boston Federal Court on March 29.
There was also a brief discussion about whether Loughlin would be allowed to discuss her case with anyone. The judge specified that she would be allowed to speak to her daughters and husband about the charges, but to no one else connected with the case.




Matt Pearce

✔@mattdpearce



OMG: “My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government's announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.” https://www.tmz.com/2019/03/13/lori-loughlin-daughter-olivia-yacht-usc-board-of-trustees-rick-caruso/ …

6:47 PM - Mar 13, 2019

TMZ: Daughter Olivia Leaves Yacht Owned By Top USC Official
As Lori Loughlin traveled from Vancouver to L.A. Tuesday night to surrender to federal authorities in the college bribery scandal -- which got her daughter, Olivia Jade, into USC -- Olivia spent the night on the yacht of the Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees ... but she's off the boat now, TMZ has learned.
We've learned 19-year-old Olivia was on Rick Caruso's yacht in the Bahamas. Caruso's daughter, Gianna, Olivia and several other friends were spending spring break in the area.
Gianna and Olivia have been friends for quite some time, occasionally posting photos of them together on social media.
Caruso, a billionaire who has major real estate holdings including The Grove in L.A., tells TMZ, "My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government's announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home." Olivia is off the yacht.
Caruso was elected Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees last year. We're told the Board will NOT decide the fate of Olivia and other students involved in the case. That decision is left squarely in the hands of the University's President.
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,229
Not all tests are equal -- generally speaking the more narrowly tailored a test is towards its audience the better it is at actually being predictive. That's why the SAT, ACT, and GRE are the most universally reviled tests. They try to predict outcomes from students studying to be doctors (pre-med) to students who want to be anthropologists. It just doesn't work as well.

At the same time, I'll be honest, the LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT are pretty predictive. Also, almost nobody takes LSAT, MCAT, and/or GMAT without doing extensive preparation beforehand. So, I think those tests are a bit more level.

At any rate, this is kinda getting very OT, so I'll probably limit further responses about this subject in particular, but feel free to PM or start a new topic.
Yea, we've veered a bit. Thank you for the conversation, though!

Your aunt is crazy, Ohio State is a great school.
As someone who has taken classes at three state schools, completed 4 degrees with another on the way, and tutors at a community college, fully agreed. For what it's worth, she's an ex-aunt (or however that works in divorce).
 

BlackJace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,787

Variety
✔@Variety


Lori Loughlin’s Bail Set for $1 Million; Judge Sets Travel Conditions https://wp.me/p2WgDE-1jqlxx

6:21 PM - Mar 13, 2019

Variety: Lori Loughlin’s Bail Set for $1 Million; Judge Sets Travel Conditions

Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, facing a charge of mail fraud in connection with the widespread college admissions bribery scheme.
Judge Steve Kim set her bail at $1,000,000, the same amount as her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who is also being charged. Giannulli was not in court on Wednesday. The bond is secured against the couple’s home, as well as their other assets.
Kim was originally reluctant to allow Loughlin to continue travelling to Vancouver for work, saying “I”m not comfortable giving her a passport for that kind of travel.” But he relented and set conditions that she be allowed to travel as long as the court is aware of her destination and length of stay.
Her attorney Marc Harris explained that she is under contract for two more projects in April and May as well as a series slated to begin in July, all shooting in Vancouver.

Loughlin will also face charges in Boston Federal Court on March 29.
There was also a brief discussion about whether Loughlin would be allowed to discuss her case with anyone. The judge specified that she would be allowed to speak to her daughters and husband about the charges, but to no one else connected with the case.




Matt Pearce
✔@mattdpearce



OMG: “My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government's announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.” https://www.tmz.com/2019/03/13/lori-loughlin-daughter-olivia-yacht-usc-board-of-trustees-rick-caruso/ …

6:47 PM - Mar 13, 2019

TMZ: Daughter Olivia Leaves Yacht Owned By Top USC Official
As Lori Loughlin traveled from Vancouver to L.A. Tuesday night to surrender to federal authorities in the college bribery scandal -- which got her daughter, Olivia Jade, into USC -- Olivia spent the night on the yacht of the Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees ... but she's off the boat now, TMZ has learned.
We've learned 19-year-old Olivia was on Rick Caruso's yacht in the Bahamas. Caruso's daughter, Gianna, Olivia and several other friends were spending spring break in the area.
Gianna and Olivia have been friends for quite some time, occasionally posting photos of them together on social media.
Caruso, a billionaire who has major real estate holdings including The Grove in L.A., tells TMZ, "My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government's announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home." Olivia is off the yacht.
Caruso was elected Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees last year. We're told the Board will NOT decide the fate of Olivia and other students involved in the case. That decision is left squarely in the hands of the University's President.
This is fucking crazy.
 

henhowc

Member
Oct 26, 2017
12,981
Los Angeles, CA
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/13/us/cooperating-witnesses-college-admissions-scheme/index.html

The dude who took the tests for these kids:

Interestingly, there is no allegation that Riddell stole the test answers or cheated to get the answers. He was just good at taking them.
So good, in fact, that Singer would have Riddell fly from his home in Florida to testing centers in Houston and Los Angeles, where the bribed test administrators worked.
In one case, Riddell was able to successfully fake a student's handwriting. In July 2018, a wealthy parent provided Singer with an example of her child's handwriting so that Riddell could imitate it when taking the test in his place.

Riddell also had a sharp eye for achieving a specific score. That same parent told Singer she wanted Riddell to get a 34 on the ACT on behalf of her son. (The maximum is a 36.) Riddell took the test for the student and then called Singer and predicted he would get a 35, the documents state. Later, the ACT score came back: He got a 35.
 

hippopotamus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,264
I hope there are many more people out there who are shitting their pants right now wondering if they are next.
 

RoaminRonin

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,688
When you pay $500,000 to get them into college.
You pay the 500k and get into the college and then what? They still have to attend and pass classes. Or was there a second phase to the corruption once these kids got enrollment? Going by the USC chairman tweet, it looks like there absolutely was a second phase, at least at USC. I highly doubt the parents committed tax fraud and bribery so their kids can drop out in two years. Some families paying up to 6.5 million dollars, might as well put that money into his trust fund.
 

Pikachu

Traded his Bone Marrow for Pizza
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,954
omg I just reread the part where the sent him a photo of the kid's handwriting and the parent said "good luck with this" LMAO
 

JeTmAn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,506

I think a lot of people are missing this. The application asked for a writing sample as an example of your current writing style.

This student thought they wanted to see what their handwriting was like and provided a sample. THAT’S why they’re a moron.
I've been watching a lot of The Office today and whooo boy now I need a Young Michael Scott show because this is exactly what he would do.
 

year3255

Member
Oct 25, 2018
13
since this broke i've seen a few children of privilege reflecting on their own experiences with access to education on twitter:


a casual reminder that lots of upper middle class parents (perfectly legally) improve their kids’ SAT scores by paying tutors to teach them to game the system. mine did. my math score jumped almost 200 points, which i promise reflected no similar increase in my command of *math*

without that systemic leg up, i doubt i would have gotten into yale, from which i graduated with honors etc. i was exactly the same applicant pre & post tutoring. i just looked different on paper. well aware most of my peers’ families could not afford to give them that advantage.


Having a dad whose name can get you into college is nice but having a mother as wonderfully supportive and sweet as @jeramiedreyfuss is way better

the screenshot of his convo with his mom where she swears up and down that he got into college on his own merits really illustrates the divide between generations and how we reckon with the concept of privilege.
christ, a lot of those twitter replies seems not to understand that she's not defending the kids in the recent case, but that she's critiquing the overall nature of how wealth and class operates in our society when it comes to conferring enormous advantages as well as a way of reproducing the class system through elite universities. this has been well studied with books like 'the state nobility: elite schools in the field of power' by pierre bourdieu or 'creating class: college admissions and the education of elites" by mitchell stevens. this case just shows how the rich are even more embolden to do this shit in the neo-gilded age and feel like they can get away with it.

but i see a lot of people around social media reducing this case to the personal and character/moral failings and to feel so self righteous and schadenfreude over the people involved. yes, it's very easy to get angry at the individuals involve in this case and to shame them in an instagram comment, but the anger and dialogue would be better directed a the system that produces and insures massive wealth inequality, corruption and mendacity in the first place. it's not just an isolated incident but part of the overall corruption and moral bankruptcy in america, from congress to the presidency, to the courts and corporations. hell, america voted in a billionaire that gave a 1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the rich, likely committed tax fraud in the '90s, and used to take calls from reporters under a different identity and speak fondly of himself. fraud and corruption ain't foreign to us, it rules us.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
5,534
I'll expand this out to graduate schools, which routinely only look at transcripts and letters of recommendation, when we really ought to require interviews similar to employment. I came across scores of graduate students straight out of undergrad who had neither the temperament nor maturity to handle grad-level courses, let alone the requirement to teach, TA, or oversee labs. That could have been filtered out so easily by conducting interviews, but few schools have the resources or impetus to do so.

So, instead, we rely on standardized testing and making sure a student has "done a lot", just filling in lines on a CV with bullshit extracurriculars that are afforded to those with the most leisure time or money to be able to pursue them. That's not to denigrate meaningful extracurricular activity, but those rarely speak to a student's true competence or capabilities.
To be fair, there are people that either are just flat out better at interviews or can game interviews just like test takers can game tests. It adds a lot more subjectivity too, which I'm sure would open admissions up to calls of discrimination as well.

This happens in job interviews all the time.
 

ANOMOLIE

Member
Oct 28, 2017
56
For someone reason this whole thing reminds me of Billy Madison. Just on a different level of course.
 

Erheller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,043
To be fair, there are people that either are just flat out better at interviews or can game interviews just like test takers can game tests. It adds a lot more subjectivity too, which I'm sure would open admissions up to calls of discrimination as well.

This happens in job interviews all the time.
Fun fact: the college interview was conceived in the early 1900's to covertly discriminate against Jewish applicants

At one point, Lowell wrote to a Harvard philosophy professor to explain that enrolling a high number of Jewish students would "ruin the college" by causing elite Protestant students to attend other schools, according to Karabel's book. Harvard would be ruined "not because Jews of bad character have come; but the result follows from the coming in large numbers of Jews of any kind, save those few who mingle readily with the rest of the undergraduate body," Lowell wrote in the letter.

[...]

By 1926, Harvard moved away from admissions based strictly on academics to evaluating potential students on a number of qualifiers meant to reveal their "character." A report released that year by an admissions committee endorsed a limit of 1,000 freshman per class — allowing a shift in policy, as Harvard could no longer admit every student who achieved a certain academic cutoff.

Here's how Karabel sums up the new changes approved in 1926, which would effectively allow the Harvard administration to limit its Jewish student population:

[...]

When the faculty formally approved the report eight days later, Lowell was further elated, for they also approved measures making the admissions process even more subjective. In particular, the faculty called on [Committee on Admissions chairman Henry Pennypacker] to interview as many applicants as possible to gather additional information on "character and fitness and the promise of the greatest usefulness in the future as a result of a Harvard education." Henceforth, declared the faculty, a passport-sized photo would be "required as an essential part of the application for admissions."
https://www.businessinsider.com/the-ivy-leagues-history-of-discriminating-against-jews-2014-12
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,229
You pay the 500k and get into the college and then what? They still have to attend and pass classes. Or was there a second phase to the corruption once these kids got enrollment? Going by the USC chairman tweet, it looks like there absolutely was a second phase, at least at USC. I highly doubt the parents committed tax fraud and bribery so their kids can drop out in two years. Some families paying up to 6.5 million dollars, might as well put that money into his trust fund.
I've seen this come up a lot, but honestly a lot of the time the hardest part of going to a "good" college is just getting in. The rigors of coursework largely don't different between most schools. I once knew a student body president with nearly a 4.0 who literally could not grasp how to do proper MLA in a writing-heavy field; they asked me to help them once and I was aghast. Contrarily, I've tutored community college kids who had 15-page finals as freshmen.

In fact, the better the institution often the more pressure to inflate grades.

To be fair, there are people that either are just flat out better at interviews or can game interviews just like test takers can game tests. It adds a lot more subjectivity too, which I'm sure would open admissions up to calls of discrimination as well.

This happens in job interviews all the time.
That's fair, though I'd argue the interview helps reflect a more holistic approach that combines transcripts, employment, writing samples, test scores, etc.

Admittedly, I'm hugely biased on this because I tend to perform very well in interviews.
 

MagicDoogies

Member
Oct 31, 2017
696
Someone tell those students suing Harvard that the FBI found the real 'seat stealers' and shocking to anybody who isn't a racist it wasn't Tyrone who plays basketball for scholarships.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
5,534
That's fair, though I'd argue the interview helps reflect a more holistic approach that combines transcripts, employment, writing samples, test scores, etc.

Admittedly, I'm hugely biased on this because I tend to perform very well in interviews.
I think I remember the recent Asian American vs. Harvard Admissions process lawsuit (which itself was like a thinly disguised attack on affirmative action, let's not go into that here) alleged that Harvard has a similar holistic approach and that Asian American applicants were being scored lower in the "personality" traits to discriminate against them. I haven't looked the articles up again but I think that's what's alleged, and that's probably also the problem with having interviews be a large part of every admissions process.
 

cameron

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
6,034
Someone tell those students suing Harvard that the FBI found the real 'seat stealers' and shocking to anybody who isn't a racist it wasn't Tyrone who plays basketball for scholarships.
From last year:

BFN: A Former Texas Official Asked A Biracial Harvard Admit Whether He Got In On "Merit Or Quota"
Clayton has recently tweeted the same question at several other high school students of color.
According to Dallas News, Clayton held a position on the Texas State Board of Education from 2010 to 2012.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the Texas State Board of Education said the board was "appalled at Mr. Clayton’s comments" and the comments "do not reflect the sentiment of the State Board of Education."

"George Clayton served on the board from 2010 to 2012 when voters turned him out of office," the spokesperson said. "Although he announced earlier this year on social media that he was going to run for the board again, it appears that he never filed for election. He definitely wasn’t on the Republican or Democratic primary ballot in March."

Clayton did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.
 

RoaminRonin

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,688
I don’t know, who else are you going to cast in lifetime movies?
Hollywood in short supply of fairly attractive middle age white women. Anyhow, her job is safe because many of her colleagues and bosses see nothing wrong with what she did because they've probably done it themselves, hell she was probably referred by a colleague.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
5,534
Hollywood in short of fairly attractive middle age white women. Anyhow, her job is safe because many of her colleagues and bosses see nothing wrong with what she did because they've probably done it themselves, hell she was probably referred by a colleague.
That would be pretty amazing if like a ton of Lifetime actresses were caught in this scandal and Liftetime had to do a complete do-over of their casting.
 

Frozenprince

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Banned
Oct 25, 2017
8,973
Private anything is a scam to perpetuate the system and castes in our society? I am stunned by this revelation. As well as the revelation that the wealthy exploit their wealth to maintain the balance of power and continue their legacy with their children.

The concept of a meritocracy is laughable.