On Wednesday, current Stanford University students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods filed a class-action lawsuit against eight colleges mentioned in a $25 million college bribery case filed by the Justice Department on Tuesday.
Olsen and Woods both claim that they have been negatively impacted by the alleged cheating scheme, in which Edge College & Career Network founder William Rick Singer helped students cheat on SAT and ACT exams and bribed athletic coaches and administrators to pretend that students were athletic recruits, funneling funds to participants through a charity he had established.
The class-action suit claims more than $5 million in damages, arguing that "unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission."
The case lists USC, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, The University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest, Yale and Georgetown, as well as Singer, Edge College & Career Network, and Singer's charity as defendants.
Olsen and Woods are representing a wide range of people. Here's who qualifies for the class-action lawsuit:
"All individuals who, between 2012 and 2018, applied to UCLA, USC, USD, Stanford University, UT-Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Georgetown University, or Yale University, paid an admission application fee to one or more of these universities, with respect to an admission application that was rejected by the university."
This means that if you paid to have your application considered at one of these eight schools between 2012 and 2018 and were then denied admission, you may be able to earn funds as a result of Olsen and Woods' case.
The plaintiffs also say they reserve the right to amend this definition of the class — those who are included in the case — if they discover any additional information.
According to the lawsuit, Olsen had an ACT score of 35 and an SAT score of 2290 when she paid an $80 application fee to apply to Yale University. "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. She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process," states the suit.
Olsen is also a competitive dancer who is now involved in the Stanford Dollies dance group.
Woods also had high test scores — 32 ACT and 2100 SAT — when she paid an $85 application fee to USC. She makes a similar case that she would not have applied to the school had she known about the allegedly unfair system.
Both Olsen and Woods claim that upon graduation, their degrees from Stanford will be worth less, "because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials."
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