Cover Conspiracy Crisis: Varsity Blues Admissions Scandal


Max Brabham, Reporter

What Happened

For high school students, ivy league college seems like a pipe dream. Recently, though, a scandal has been uncovered in which hundreds of wealthy families have bribed their way through admissions and gotten their kids accepted.

“It kind of adds a layer of doubt to college admissions and how ‘worth it’ it is to go to prestigious places,” said Anneliesa Walter, senior. “I would say I’m the most disappointed in the actual institutions themselves, because they’re supposed to be a pillar of opportunity, where if you work hard enough you can get in. By accepting the bribes and allowing these crimes to happen they both undermine the prestige of their own institutions and what they stand for.”

The acceptance rate of the colleges involved mostly have acceptance rates under ten percent. The list of colleges involved include of Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, Wake Forest University, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles.











“The main problem is the students who do qualify, it’s discouraging them,” said Cynthia James, RNE College and Information specialist. “The students who earn the right to be there, they had to work hard for their accomplishments, their grades, their test scores, and to let someone else in who didn’t even attempt to meet the requirements is discouraging for those students who earned it.”

The colleges involved were prestigious institutions. This year, in the admissions process, 40 kids had been falsely admitted into these colleges. This false admission didn’t come without consequences for the students themselves however. “It affects them negatively, their self esteem goes down,”said James.

“Let’s say if a parent paid for this student to meet the college requirements paid for someone else to do it,” said James, “What’s going on right now, they [the falsely admitted students] wouldn’t be able to compete with other students and it’s gonna affect their self esteem, and where as they may have been able to go to another college which could help them along, they’re really gonna feel bad about themselves and may not even try to achieve what they would have at another school.”

One student who was admitted, daughter of Lori Loughlin, Olivia Jade, made a blog post stating how she did not want to attend UCLA in the first place.


Olivia Jade, Daughter of Lori Loughlin, was involved in the scandal.










The Cost

These 40 students were falsely accepted into those universities over the past eight years, with almost all of them having an acceptance rate below 30%, the lowest acceptance rating being 5.1%. This means each student admitted illegally caused at least 70 students and at most 95 to be rejected from these universities.

The college that received the most students was the University of Southern California Los Angeles with 16 students with an acceptance rate of 14%. Because of this, 1,376 possible admissions have been denied. Currently, all participating parties are awaiting trial for conspiracy to commit felony mail fraud, honest services mail fraud, and money laundering. The CEO of The Key and ringleader of the Varsity Blues operation William Singer is facing up to 65 years in prison after allegedly pleading guilty to the charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, tax conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.


William Singer, Ringleader of
the Varsity Blues Operation.