Felicity Huffman's College Admissions Counselor Gave Students Fake Learning Disabilities to Get Ahead
Netflix has dropped its latest documentary on the college admissions scandal, featuring reenactments of the FBI recordings between mastermind Rick Singer and parents like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman who were looking to get their kids into elite universities through a “side door.” Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal spells out exactly how it was done and the litany of crimes Singer committed as part of this scam are sure to tick you off if your children got into college on their own merit.
We’ve seen how Lori Loughlin’s two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, came in as coxswain crew recruits by posing on a rowing machine. Anyone who has ever followed the sport knows how ridiculous the scenario even sounds, but it successfully got them into the University of Southern California. There was also a second method Singer utilized for getting students into the college of their choice — and it’s even worse than the sports recruiting scam.
Singer would make sure the kids would get classified as learning disabled in order for them to receive more time taking their SATs or ACTs. Mark Riddell, a college exam prep expert who was in the scam, would proctor their session and change their answers to boost their scores once the test had been turned in. This strategy was used for Felicity Huffman’s oldest daughter, Sophia Macy, who saw her scores rise by 400 points from her PSAT to her final 1420 score on her SAT, per the Justice Department documents.
The collegiate level fraud worked for decades and Singer got away with it because there was always a fresh supply of parents, who would do anything to ensure that their teens got into brand-name college.
“Rick was always drumming up business,” college counselor Margie Amott explains in the film. “He was always giving presentations at the country clubs … and I also knew what his presentations entailed, and they were promises he couldn’t keep. And lies.”
The scam eventually came crumbling down in 2019, but it’s hard not to think how many students missed out on a spot at the college of their choice just because a conman pulled the right strings. The smell of money spoke volumes for Singer and it exposed the fraud of white privilege on a major level.
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