Public Figures Implicated in a Growing College Admission Scandal

Lori Loughlin and her husband leaving court after admission scandal exposes them. Captured in August 2019

By: Eliza Munteanu

Date: 17/01/20

Within the last few years, whispers have been traveling around Los Angeles about famous figures allegedly bribing and paying off colleges, entrance exams, and sports administrators to guarantee spots for their children in colleges. Two colleges caught in this timely scandal are UCLA, University College of Los Angeles, and USC, University of Southern California. 

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin face federal charges against bribery and illegal scheming to get into UCLA and USC. According to Zuckerman, the focus of collusion with the recruiting of student-athletes although they demonstrate no special physical abilities, and the helping of cheating of entrance exams to get into high-end colleges. The Department of Justice states that the whole scheme was orchestrated by William Singer, a college-prep professional. “Parents paid Singer approximately $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators to designate their children as purported athletic recruits, thereby facilitating the children’s admission to those universities.” According to Jorje Salcedo, UCLA’s football coach since 2004, resigned in March 2019 after being charged with involvement in the college scheme. Also, USC fired Donna Heinel and Jovan Vavic, senior associate athletics administrator and water polo coach after the two were discovered as a part of the scheme.

  College students and graduates throughout Los Angeles, including their parents, are disgusted by these events and are furious that the wealthier population would use their money as an unfair edge. “Every student deserves to be considered on their individual merits when applying to college, and it’s disgraceful to see anyone breaking the law to give their children an advantage over others,” states the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The department is looking closely at this issue and working to determine if any of our regulations have been violated.” 

Emails have been disclosed that continue fueling the fire of the situation. According to the New York Times, an undisclosed USC development official’s email to Mossimo, Lori Loughlin’s husband, was exposed. “Hi Mossimo-” the USC official wrote, “Please let me know if I can be at all helpful in setting up a 1:1 opportunity for her, customized tour of the campus for the family… I’d also be happy to flag her application…”.

Although Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are the main cases in this scandal, other well-known figures such as fashion icons, business managers and CEOs are tangled up in this mess as well. Not only are parents and employees affected by the charges placed within this investigation, but students are finding themselves caught in the crossfire. While some students knew about their parents bribing administrators, others did not know what was going on, and are losing their spots in their colleges due to circumstances they had no control over. 

The consequences of parents’ actions could land them in jail, such as Felicity Huffman who was imprisoned for 14 days, according to Ormseth and Rubin. This growing scandal is taking its toll on countless families, and employees, as deputies continue to investigate and try to identify the guilty.

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