It was only a few weeks ago that federal prosecutors revealed celebrities like Felicity Huffman as well as CEOs of major companies had been using bribes and cheating to get their kids into elite colleges. Now, the Department of Education is launching an investigation into the recent admissions scandal, according to Politico.
The Department will look into whether universities broke any laws “governing the Federal student financial aid programs” or “any other applicable laws,” according to documents obtained by Politico.
The investigation is targeting eight universities: Yale University, Wake Forest University, the University of San Diego, Stanford University, Georgetown University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.
If these universities are found to have broken the law, they could be hit with penalties as severe as having access to Pell grants and federal student loans cut.
“The allegations made and evidence cited by the Department of Justice raise questions about whether your institution is fully meeting its obligations,” the letter written by an Education Department official and sent to the universities red.
The letter warns that colleges are responsible for reporting “any credible information indicating that an employee” has committed fraud.
As part of the Education Department investigation, officials demanded that each of the universities turn over, within the next 30 days, documents including marketing and promotional materials, statements made to organizations that rank schools, such as U.S. News and World Report, and internal control policies and procedures related to admissions for recruited athletes.
Department investigators also asked the schools to identify “the names of all students whose admission” was “mentioned in the allegations raised in the Department of Justice’s investigation” as well as any disciplinary actions taken against employees charged by federal prosecutors in the case.
A few of the dozens of the defendants in the federal investigation, including six university coaches, appeared in court for the first time this week in Boston. The twelve defendants who appeared in court all pled not guilty, according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile, William Singer, the man at the center of the scandal, has pled guilty to helping wealthy clients children cheat on college admissions tests. Everyone else caught up in this scandal better hope he doesn’t have a lot to say.