Students in the college admissions scandal were told to lie about their race on their applications

William 'Rick' Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Singer is among several charged in an alleged college admissions scam involving parents, ACT and SAT administrators and coaches at universities including Stanford, Georgetown, Yale, and the University of Southern California.

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William ‘Rick’ Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Singer is among several charged in an alleged college admissions scam involving parents, ACT and SAT administrators and coaches at universities including Stanford, Georgetown, Yale, and the University of Southern California.
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Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The wealthy families involved in the college admissions scandal were advised to have their students falsely claim to be racial minorities on their applications to boost their chances of getting into top colleges, The Wall Street Journal reported.

William “Rick” Singer, the man behind the scheme, reportedly told parents that not having their students lie about their race would put them at a “competitive disadvantage” in the admissions process.

The son of Marjorie Klapper from Menlo Park, California, was one of many students who claimed they were racial minorities on their applications, according to The Journal. Klapper’s son was falsely listed as black and Hispanic on his Common Application.

The Department of Justice has charged 50 people, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman and executives at prominent companies, with participating in a scheme to get students into elite colleges through cheating and bribery. Twenty have pleaded guilty so far.

Beyond misrepresenting race, strategies for getting children admitted included cheating on entrance exams, paying bribes to athletic coaches and university administrators. One student’s parents paid $6.5 million to get her into Stanford University, while actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 to have their daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, when neither daughter rowed crew.

The latest revelation about racial misrepresentation comes after the college admissions scandal had already ignited debate about diversity in the college admissions process.

This week, it was announced that the SAT is adding an “adversity score” that will track students’ socioeconomic backgrounds in order to measure wealth and privilege.