Fifty people across the United States have been formally charged with cheating to get students into highly respected colleges. The FBI's criminal investigation was called Operation Varsity Blues. It covers crimes allegedly committed between 2011 and 2019 and it led to the arrest of athletic coaches, SAT and ACT administrators and dozens of parents. What they're accused of doing is helping students cheat on college entrance exams like the SAT and paying some sports coaches to say certain students should be admitted to their colleges because the students were good athletes, even when they weren't. In some cases this involved creating fake athletic profiles for students to make them look like good athletes.
Prosecutors say the cheating was carried out mostly without the student's knowledge according to ABC News and that it was done to get them in to schools like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California among others. The interim president of USC called it immensely disappointing that school employees would allegedly abuse their positions in this way. A U.S. attorney involved in the investigation said, for every student admitted through fraud an honest, genuinely, talented student was rejected. U.S. officials say this was the largest college cheating scam the Federal government has ever prosecuted.