Northwestern joined the list of elite universities caught up in a college cheating scandal that was uncovered earlier this week. CBS Chicago reported on Wednesday that Manuel and Elizabeth Henriquez, the parents of a first-year student, helped their child cheat twice on the ACT and three times on SAT subject tests by planning to pay up to $80,000 to a college prep company, according to a federal complaint.
“The University takes allegations of falsification very seriously,” Northwestern spokesman Jon Yates said in response to NBN’s request for confirmation of the situation. “If it is discovered that a student submitted false information in his or her application, it can result in a revocation of admission or, if enrolled, the student can be expelled.”
This larger college cheating scandal involved other big-name schools like Yale and Stanford after federal prosecutors charged 50 actors, business leaders and other wealthy parents in committing college entry fraud on Tuesday. Of the 50 charges, 33 were against parents who allegedly used their wealth to help their children get into prestigious universities.
These bribes were used to help their children cheat on college entry standardized tests, which helped them get into these schools. The scheme was facilitated by William Singer, the owner of college counseling service The Key Worldwide. From 2011 to 2018, Singer allegedly received $25 million from parents of students entering college.
In the case of the Henriquezes, who live in California, Singer arranged for their youngest daughter to take her ACT exam at a test center in Houston in October 2016. According to the federal documents, the proctor gave her the answers during the exam, and she received a score of 30 out of 36.
The following year, they paid between $25,000 and $30,000 to help their daughter cheat on three SAT subject tests and the ACT in West Hollywood. She once again received the answers from her proctor and received a score of 33 on the ACT and scores of 720, 740 and 770 on the math, Spanish and history SAT subject tests respectively, according to the document.
In Northwestern’s statement, the University said that it puts “an enormous amount of trust in the ACT and SAT testing agencies” and that it was disappointed “to hear about the undermining of the admissions process,” which damages this trust.