U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos looks into massive college admissions scandal

DeVos
U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

With federal prosecutors this week revealing a massive college admissions scandal, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says her own department will investigate whether any regulations were violated in connection with the scam.

According to The Hill, DeVos released an email statement saying the conduct of parents and others arrested in the scandal was “disgraceful.”

“Every student deserves to be considered on their individual merits when applying to college, and it’s disgraceful to see anyone breaking the law to give their children an advantage over others,” according to the statement obtained by the Hill.

In a Fox News report, DeVos said higher education and K-12 schools aren’t “fair” in terms of offering opportunities to students of different economic backgrounds. “This is a matter that all Americans want things to be fair and they’re clearly not,” DeVos told Fox.

She also told Fox that, “We are still researching and looking into how the department might interface with this. Obviously this is a Department of Justice operation but we are looking very closely at it and we’ll see if any of the regulations we’re responsible for have been broken.”

Federal prosecutors have ensnared dozens of defendants in the nationwide conspiracy related to wealthy parents – including high-profile actresses and business executives — getting their kids into elite colleges by means of bribery and other schemes such as cheating on college entrance exams.

At least two men from Florida have been charged:

–Miami resident Robert Zangrillo, described in court documents as “the founder and CEO of a Miami-based private investment firm focused on venture capital and real estate investments.”

Zangrillo allegedly “conspired to bribe athletic department officials at USC to designate his daughter as an athletic recruit, thereby facilitating her admission to USC (University of Southern California),” and had a woman “secretly take classes on behalf of his daughter,” so those grades could be submitted to USC.

–Mark Riddell, of Palmetto, near Bradenton. He was involved in “cheating on the SAT and ACT exams by bribing test administrators to….secretly take the exams in place of actual students, or to replace the students’ exam responses with his own,” according to court documents.

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