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College Admissions Scandal’s Biggest Clients Were From China: Report

The college admissions scandal ripping through America’s higher-education system allegedly found its biggest clients in China, The Wall Street Journal reports. Families from China allegedly paid far more than almost all of their domestic counterparts. One Chinese family allegedly paid $6.5 million to William “Rick” Singer, the California-based college counselor who masterminded the scheme, in order for their child to be admitted to a top-tier university. Many of the U.S.-based parents paid a mere $250,000 to $400,000 for Singer’s illegal admissions services. More and more Chinese families are bringing their children to the U.S. to attend high school with the goal of seamlessly applying to American universities. Colleges sometimes scrutinize foreign agents hired to coordinate international applications, but apply less scrutiny to U.S.-based college counselors, such as Singer.

The family of Sherry Guo, a Chinese student who attended high school in California, allegedly paid Singer $1.2 million to secure her admission to Yale University. Guo’s attorney argues that she was “so unfamiliar with how people apply to schools in the U.S.” that she did not realize Singer’s counseling was illegal. Guo was accepted to Yale, after Singer paid the women’s soccer coach $400,000 to tag her as a recruited athlete. She is no longer at the school, her attorney confirmed. Guo’s family has not been charged in the scandal, but the investigation is ongoing.