The Seoul Police arrested four South Koreans on Tuesday charged with doctoring student admission papers to top US universities, multiple news outlets in the country reported. Students involved in the wrongful admissions were also expelled from their schools, media said.
The private college consultancy group had allegedly spent years fabricating student admission papers, and even report cards, to secure their students’ admission to top universities in the US.
Among the four arrested is an admissions broker identified by his surname Jeong as well as a reputed lecturer named Jeffrey Son.
The four are currently facing accusations regarding the falsification of applicants’ documents. They had taken large sums of money from parents as consultation fees for their children’s entry into top US schools.
The team was also found to have asked for millions in won from the parents, claiming that they needed the money to fund their children’s acceptance under donation-based admission programs. Parents have claimed that they did not know about the document forging.
In a similar case of meddling with admissions procedures, the police also raided a high school based in Yongin to investigate one of the members, who stood accused of leaking questions in the SAT from 2017 to 2020.
The police also arrested around 20 parents and instructors of the US SAT after they were suspected of interfering in exams that were being held in South Korea.
Heavy Academic Pressure
Korean students face immense pressure to excel in their academics. While the typical US student spends eight hours a day in school, their peers in South Korea clock in at 14.
The pursuit of education does not stop after college. Shin Gi-wook, a professor of sociology and the director of the Korean program at Stanford University, stated that Koreans often use standardized exams as an objective measure of an individual’s qualifications.