A total of 50 people were indicted as part of the alleged nationwide scheme, which broke on Tuesday when 204 pages of federal court records were unsealed in Boston

March 15, 2019 09:34 AM

As outrage continues to mount over the alleged college admissions bribery scam, the non-profit organization responsible for developing and administering the SAT is vowing to do its part to combat cheating.

The College Board told PEOPLE in a statement on Thursday that the investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts and its resulting arrests have sent “a clear message that those who facilitate cheating on the SAT — regardless of their income or status — will be held accountable.”

“The College Board has a comprehensive, robust approach to combat cheating, and as part of that effort we work closely with law enforcement, as we did in this investigation,” said Jerome White, director of the College Board’s media relations and external communications. “We will always take all necessary steps to ensure a level playing field for the overwhelming majority of test takers who are honest and play by the rules.”

“The College Board relies on schools to select administrators and proctors, whose roles are to ensure fair testing environments for all students by following our policies and procedures,” White continued. “When they don’t, we take appropriate action on behalf of students. Further, when schools don’t comply with our policies and procedures, we reserve the right to prohibit them from administering future tests.”

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Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty; Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

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A total of 50 people were indicted as part of the alleged nationwide scheme, which broke on Tuesday when 204 pages of federal court records were unsealed in Boston. Notable names among the alleged include Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, author Jane Buckingham, Full House star Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, the widespread effort was made by wealthy families to get their children into top colleges by falsifying SAT scores, lying about their athletic skills and more. It’s unclear if the children were aware of any of these alleged crimes.

Some named in the court documents allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, University of Southern California, UCLA, University of San Diego, University of Texas and Wake Forest University, according to federal prosecutors.

In addition to parents, athletic coaches and exam administrators are also implicated in the scheme.

Admission to the schools mentioned in the complaint is extremely competitive: For first-time, full-time undergraduates, only 5 percent of applicants get into Stanford, 7 percent into Yale, 17 percent into Georgetown, 18 percent into the University of Southern California and 29 percent into Wake Forest, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Yale University

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Many of the schools targeted in the scheme have since responded to the allegations.

“As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by its former women’s soccer coach,” Yale University said in a statement to PEOPLE. “The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward.”

In a response, USC maintained that it has not been “accused of any wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation.” USC is now conducting an internal investigation and reviewing its admissions process.

Wake Forest told PEOPLE that it has placed their volleyball coach on administrative leave following his alleged role in the plot.

Stanford University announced that it has terminated the school’s head sailing coach, who was implicated in the case. Meanwhile, two Stanford students have filed a federal complaint claiming to be victims of the alleged conspiracies.

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