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Stanford Students File Suit Against Eight Schools

Paul Steinbach

The nationwide college admissions scandal has produced a steady stream of media analysis and personnel action on the part of institutions involved since it broke Tuesday morning, and now comes word that a federal lawsuit had been filed in California against eight schools the following day.

According to Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit names Stanford University, where plaintiffs Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods are currently enrolled, as well as the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University as defendants.

The lawsuit defines the class members as anyone who applied to the scandal-linked universities between 2012 and 2018. The students are represented by John Medler Jr., based in Irvine.

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Olsen said in the complaint that she had "stellar" standardized test scores and athletic talent. She applied to Yale and paid an application fee of approximately $80, only to be rejected by the 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," the lawsuit states, as reported by CNS. "She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process."

"Students do not have unlimited funds to pay for application fees," the complaint continues. "They must pick and choose which university or universities to apply to based upon their available funding, the cost of the application fee, and the likelihood that they will be accepted. Each of these students had a right to know that their application was going to be part of a review process corrupted by rampant fraud and back-door bribery."

Olsen also claims that attending Stanford no longer carries the prestige she thought it would. "Her degree is now not worth as much as it was before, 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," the lawsuit states.

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