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Will children at center of college admissions scandal pay a price along with their parents?

Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Their parents face criminal charges, with federal prosecutors alleging massive fraud to get them into some of America's most elite schools.

But it's still unclear what is going to happen to the children who were the beneficiaries of what prosecutors called the largest college admissions scam ever uncovered.

Federal prosecutors allege cheating on standardized tests, bribery and faking athletic achievements to get into college -- the types of misdeeds that would lead to serious discipline. But in many cases, they said, the students did not know about the arrangements their parents made.

Administrators at UCLA and USC said this week they are reviewing student admission decisions after discovering that dozens of families paid huge sums to gain access to at least eight exclusive schools, including theirs, through bribes and lies. Among the parents charged were Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman, of "Desperate Housewives," and Lori Loughlin, of "Full House."

A USC spokesman said Wednesday that students who applied for admission in the current cycle -- which is underway for fall admits -- and are tied to the scheme will be denied admission. That includes about half a dozen applicants.

The school will also conduct a case-by-case review for current students and graduates who may have taken part in the scheme.


"We will make informed, appropriate decisions once those reviews have been completed," USC spokesman Eddie North-Hager said in a statement.

UCLA said that it would consider canceling admissions if any student was found to have lied in an application.

"If UCLA discovers that any prospective, admitted or enrolled student has misrepresented any aspect of his/her application, or that information about the applicant has been withheld, UCLA may take a number of disciplinary actions, up to and including cancellation of admission," the university said.

The two schools have already fired or suspended coaches and an administrator accused in the case.


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