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Admission Scandal: UC Admitted 64 Wealthy Students as ‘Favors’

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The University of California (UC) “inappropriately admitted” at least 64 students over the past six years as “favors to donors, family, and friends,” the state auditor revealed in a report Tuesday.

Half of the students belonged to families with an income of $150,000 or more, the report mentioned, and most of them were white.

Among the students, 22 were admitted as student-athlete recruits “because of donations from or as favors to well-connected families,” the California State Auditor Elaine Howle said to AP, adding that they “had little or no athletic skills.”

The report also found that 42 applicants admitted by UC Berkley were children of staff and donors.

Highlighting a case of a child of a major donor who applied at UC Berkley, the report mentioned that although the applicant received the lowest possible score on their application, a college official revived the application and contacted a coach, who then backed up the applicant as a prospective student-athlete.

The report said that after the student was admitted to the college, their family donated several thousand dollars, adding that “the applicant never competed with the team, and the coaches removed the applicant from the team after the season ended.”

400 Additional ‘Suspect’ Cases

The audit, which covered UC’s four campuses — UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara –was requested in response to last year’s national college admissions scandal, where more than 50 people were charged with bribery and document fabrication to unfairly get students admitted to elite colleges across the country.

Howle said the audit has barely scratched the surface of the problem as more than 400 applicants “that were really questionable” still remain and some student-athletes didn’t appear to have any athletic ability.

UC President Michael V Drake said in a statement that the university will swiftly act on the concerns raised in the report, and added that the individuals involved “will be disciplined appropriately.”

“Unethical means to gain admission, as rare as they may be, run contrary to our longstanding values of equity and fairness,” he said.

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