College admissions scam

University of Southern California & Lori Loughlin

John Ruhl, Staffer

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Over this past Spring Break, without warning or a signal of any kind, a bombshell was dropped over the college admissions system in the United States. The scam itself crossed from coast to coast throughout the nation, but the one that has caught the most attention, or more accurately notoriety, involved the fraud that revolved around the University of Southern California (USC) and Full House actress Lori Loughlin.

Loughlin is accused of paying bribes worth around $500,000 to doctor and manipulate crew photos, such as replacing a crew athlete’s face with her daughter’s on an ergometer machine via Photoshop, in order to gain a higher chance of getting her daughter –Olivia Jade Giannulli– admitted to USC. But the fraud did not stop there. The man whom Loughlin had paid the $500,000 to, William Rick Singer (under the disguise of a fraudulent college admissions company by the name of the Key Worldwide Organization), bribed USC crew coaches into accepting her as a prospective crew athlete for their team, even though the daughter had never rowed crew a day in her life.

“This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud,” said Andrew Lelling, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, to the media during a press conference on March 12. “There can be no separate college-admissions system for the wealthy, and I’ll add that there will not be a separate criminal-justice system either.”

Giannulli, a YouTube professional vlogger, has come under fire based on comments that she had made on one of her videos in the past that, to many, made her appear ungrateful about acquiring her education at the USC.

“But I do want the experience of game days, partying,” Giannulli said. “I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”

Now, the rich and the wealthy using legal methods such as donating a building as a means of getting their children an upper hand in the college admissions process is nothing new. Many expect it. Yet, the reason why this particular instance has ended up rocking the nation was in its elaborate scope and nature.

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