Stanford students file first lawsuit against colleges implicated in admissions scandal

Ellie Bowen and Erin Woo:

Two Stanford students have filed a federal class action lawsuit against Stanford and seven other universities implicated in the admissions bribery scandal, claiming that they and others did not have a fair chance to apply to these schools.

Erica Olsen ’21 and Kalea Woods ’20 alleged that while they both applied with strong applications, they “did not receive what [they] paid for — a fair admissions consideration process.”

Olsen and Woods further alleged that their Stanford degrees are “now not worth as much as [they were] before, because prospective employers may now question whether [they were] admitted to the university on [their] own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”

Olsen and Woods declined to comment.

In addition to Stanford, Yale, the University of Southern California (USC), UCLA, the University of San Diego, UT Austin, Wake Forest University, and Georgetown University were named in the lawsuit, whose class includes all students who applied to, paid an application fee and were ultimately rejected from these colleges from 2012 to 2018.

William Singer, the Key and the Key Worldwide Foundation — the drivers behind the multimillion-dollar scheme that saw parents pay to artificially inflate their children’s standardized test scores and in some cases bribe athletic directors to position their children as recruits — are included as defendants in the lawsuit.