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Two Stanford Students Are Suing Schools Involved In The College Admissions Scam

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods are seeking punitive and compensatory damages, as well as compensation for the $80 application fee to apply to Yale University.

Posted on March 14, 2019, at 12:43 p.m. ET

Yana Paskova / Getty Images

Two Stanford students have filed a class-action complaint against the schools involved in the massive nationwide college cheating scandal, claiming they didn't get a fair shot in their applications to the universities.

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods are suing the schools enmeshed in the racketeering scandal, including Yale University; Georgetown University; the University of Texas; University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; University of San Diego; and Stanford University.

Olsen and Woods are also suing William "Rick" Singer, the man accused of running the entire scam, as well as his organization, the Key Worldwide Foundation.

According to court documents, Olsen and Woods alleged that they were both "qualified" students when they applied to prestigious schools like Yale and USC. However, they were unaware that "unqualified students were slipping in through the back door of the admissions process by committing fraud, bribery, cheating, and dishonesty" during their admissions process.

This bombshell revelation has caused emotional and financial damages to their current academic standings, they allege.

"At the time [Olsen] applied, she was never informed that the process of admission was an unfair, rigged process, in which rich parents could buy their way into the university through bribery," their complaint stated.

"Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school. She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process."

Both plaintiffs are also seeking compensation for paying application fees to the schools — approximately $80 each.

The two students also allege that the scandal, which involves the school they're currently attending, has cheapened their degrees, and may cast a shadow of doubt about their merits to future employers.

"[Woods'] degree is now not worth as much as it was before, because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having rich parents who were willing to bribe school officials," the case stated.

The students are seeking compensation for punitive damages, as well as compensation for their application fees.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to their attorney for comment.

Read the class-action complaint here:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.