Stanford Students File Lawsuit Over Admissions Scandal

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The news this week that dozens of people had been indicted for a wide-ranging scheme to cheat college admissions brought a lot of facts to light about some alleged illegal ways wealthy Americans go about getting their kids into colleges. It also led to lots of jokes about Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, the two famous actresses who were named in the indictment.

Now, the scandal has had another consequence: A lawsuit filed by Stanford University students.

According to The San Jose Mercury News, a class action suit has been filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleging that the degrees of Stanford students have been “devalued” by the scheme.

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods are the named plaintiffs, who allege that unqualified students were unfairly let into universities, at the expense of students who “played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents.” The suit was filed only days after the announcement of the indictments.

Among those named in the suit are the alleged scam ringleader William “Rick” Singer, his charity The Key Worldwide Foundation, as well as the several universities who were part of the scandal, which include Stanford, Georgetown, Yale, USC, UCLA, the University of San Diego, and The University of Texas.

Olsen, one of the plaintiffs, had applied to Yale but was rejected and ended up attending Stanford.

“Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school,” the lawsuit states, per Courthouse News. “She also did not receive what she paid for—a fair admissions consideration process.”

The potential class in the suit includes anyone who attended the named universities between 2012 and 2018.

The scandal exposed a scheme in which wealthy parents paid money to Singer, who in turn paid bribes to university officials as well as athletic coaches in order to fraudulently obtain admission. The scheme included such wild details as fake athletic recruit profiles for different potential students and standardized tests being taken by imposters posing as the students.

While some business executives were named in the indictments, as well as coaches and other university officials, the most famous of those were Loughlin, who starred in both the original and revival versions of the sitcom Full House, and Huffman, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Transamerica and also starred in Desperate Housewives and Sports Night.