College Admissions Scandal Mastermind Reportedly Told Parents To Lie About Ethnicity To Further Advantage Their White Children
New details have emerged from the college admissions scandal that made headlines back in March. According to the Wall Street Journal, William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind the scandal, encouraged his clients to lie about their child’s race on applications to boost their chances of getting into elite colleges. He specifically told parents that to change their white child’s ethnicity to black or Latino because not doing so would put their children at a “competitive disadvantage” to other students.
A new report on the college admissions scandal is showing just how far the privileged will go to take places in higher education from students of color by any means necessary.
Elite colleges have long given preference to athletes and children of former alumni. Singer took notice and advantage of a new trend in college admissions, schools seeking students of color.
The son of Marjorie Klapper is one student who changed their racial identity as an advantage. He was reportedly falsely listed as being black and Hispanic on his Common Application, which includes an optional box where applicants can note their race or ethnicity.
Last Friday, Klapper plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors allege she paid Singer $15,000 to have a proctor take the ACT for her son in 2017.
In one instance, an application “may have been based on a tenuous connection, such as a distant relative of Native American ancestry,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. Yet according to that same source, “There was nothing Native American about this kid.”
The scandal has opened up the hot button issue of race being a factor in college admissions.
Race being considered a major factor in college admissions has become a hot-button issue since the college admissions scandal broke back in March. The scandal has also shed light on affirmative action and the realities that many minorities face getting into top colleges.
While lying on college applications may not be a crime, schools can take disciplinary action over the false statements. The families embattled in various federal investigations face charges related to bribery or test-cheating.
At a court hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said Singer’s schemes included “lying about students’ ethnicities and other biographical information in an attempt to take advantage of perceived benefits from affirmative action and other programs.”
Singer then, responded that “everything that Mr. Rosen stated is exactly true.”
In the aftermath of the college-admissions scandal, the SAT will now include a new measure for privilege beginning this year.
Along with scores measuring math and reading levels, the test will include an “adversity score” that indicates a persons social and economic background. The score won’t be shown to students and will be reported only to college officials, according to The New York Times. Race will also not be a factor in the score.
The college admissions scandals involved over 30 parents trying to get their children into elite colleges.
Klapper is just one of the 33 parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged in the admissions scheme. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that parents paid $15,000 to $75,000 to Singer in exchange for manufactured test scores. One student’s parents even paid $6.5 million to get their child into Stanford University.
This latest revelation about racial misrepresentation adds to a story that has brought national outrage over privilege. The college admissions scandal had also ignited a debate about diversity and legacy status in the college admissions process.