The Asian American Coalition for Education, in a statement March 14, denounced the college admissions cheating scam recently exposed by the U.S. Department of Justice as “a glaring demonstration of the corrupted higher education entrance system,” adding: “Via illicit tactics such as inflating test scores, falsifying application profiles, doctoring student photos and forging racial/ethnic identities, this criminal enterprise had placed hundreds of their clients into top universities, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas, among others,” said the AACE.
“On an individual level, this belligerent scandal severely erodes equal education rights of millions of ordinary American children and robs deserving students of fair chances of admissions into their desired colleges,” continued AACE in the statement emailed to India-West.
In particular, it noted: “Many Asian-American children [including Indian Americans], suffering from both economic and racial disadvantages, could hardly secure any chances matching their credentials in this rigged system of college admissions and fall victims to scandalous practices that only helped the rich and powerful to cheat the system.”
AACE added: “Additionally, the mere fact that part of the scheme involved falsifying the students’ ethnicity to ‘take advantage of affirmative action’ implies the fallacy and hypocrisy of race-based affirmative action policies in college admissions.”
AACE president Yukong Zhao said: “The broken college admissions system hurts hard-working children from ordinary families, especially working-class Asian-American children. Not only they have no resources to compete with the rich and powerful, but also suffer from racial discrimination widely adopted by America’s selective colleges,” adding: “We call upon Asian American children join the class action lawsuit [several suits have been filed already) in order to drive the social changes. We need a complete overhaul of this problematic system to restore true meritocracy, ban racial discrimination, and regulate recruiting of special admits such as athletes.”
AP adds: Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with nearly 50 other people March 12 in the scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said.
“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the $25 million federal bribery case.
Prosecutors said parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes, to alter test scores and to have others take online classes to boost their children’s chances of getting into schools.
“For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected,” Lelling said.
Lelling said the investigation, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” is continuing and authorities believe other parents were involved. The schools themselves are not targets of the investigation, he said.
No students were charged. Authorities said in many cases the students were not aware of the fraud.
The coaches worked at such schools as Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.
Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children’s admission, officials said.
Lelling called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Justice Department.
The bribes allegedly came through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid the founder of the Edge College & Career Network approximately $25 million to get their children into college.
On Mar. 14, in one of the first lawsuits to come out of the college bribery scandal, several students are suing Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and other schools involved in the case, saying they and others were denied a fair shot at admission.
The plaintiffs brought the class-action complaint Mar. 13 in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of themselves and other applicants, asking for unspecified damages and the return of all application fees.
(With AP reports)