True, but it's been a very long standing avenue for the rich to go to to get their kids into top schools if their high school grades and SAT scores weren't good. When did schools stop doing this?
Makes you wonder why these celebs didn't just go to the colleges and give them a "donation" to the colleges so they would admit their kids. I am sure that's how the very rich have gotten their kids into colleges they didn't deserve to get into for decades.
This whole thing will come to nothing. Some people will lose their current jobs and the people accused of paying the bribes will see no jail time and get nothing more than a slap on the wrist having to do some community service.
... and very quickly, things will go back to business as usual, with new bribers and bribe-takers.
Seems like falsifying SATs and paying off coaches to open up athletic spots for the incoming student is a lot, lot more work. Just tell the school you will make a donation to rebuild a new IT lab, or refurbish some huge lecture halls, or whatever if they accept the kid into the school.
And is that way of doing things illegal? Does a private school not have the right to allow whoever they want into their schools?
Even private schools often receive federal and state grant money and can become subject to various regulations as a consequence.
And further, improper dealings in admissions of one student may violate contractual terms with others. An application for admission is a good faith transactional process that usually has some written terms governing the process. If it isn't really executed in good faith (because some other student got in through a "donation" bribe, bypassing the terms) then that could be considered fraud.
The reality is that the rich buying their offspring's way into top schools (Exampe A: Jared Kushner, barely a B student, got into Harvard hot on the heels of his grandfather's massive donation to the university) is something that has gone on and likely will go on. But as there is more pressure to make the admission processes more transparent (see the court cases arguing over racial biases) that hopefully may make it harder for that sort of quid-pro-quo to happen without someone throwing a flag.