MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Actress Lori Loughlin was in court Wednesday afternoon in connection with an alleged scheme in which wealthy parents paid bribes to get their children into top colleges.
The scandal is prompting anger and disbelief among local high school students and college consulting firms.
Some Minnetonka High School Seniors are angry.
"Hard work and talent should be the decider, not money," Connor Shelquist said. "There are a lot of people including me that have woken up at 5 in the morning and get home at 9 at night working for stuff like this."
Ray Shehadeh is waiting to hear if she got into the University of Southern California, the same school Loughlin allegedly paid $500,000 to get her two daughters admitted as crew recruits even though they don't participate in crew.
"As a first-generation American, you really put your foot forward to excel in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities and it's just unfair for people of privilege and privileged families to get an easy pass," Shehadeh said.
One of the ways the alleged cheating scheme worked is that students would fake learning disabilities and apply and in many cases receive extra time on ACT and SAT tests and be allowed to take the tests one on one with a proctor.
"The substantial majority of people in our industry are really ethical, it's mind-blowing that something on this scale could happen," said Chris Wills, president of the Twin Cities college consulting firm College Inside Track.
The firm provides admission advice as well as advice on scholarships and what college is the best value for a student. He said,
"Our belief is that college is a match to be made not a prize to be won," Wills said.
The next court appearance for some of the defendants, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin's husband Mossimo Giannulli, is scheduled for March 29 in Boston.
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