Lawsuits seek over $500B in damages over college admissions scandal

Two lawsuits filed on Thursday seek over $500 billion in damages from top U.S. universities over revelations that Hollywood actresses and business leaders  spent millions on a complex scheme to get their children accepted into prestigious universities.

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One suit, by Stanford University student Kalea Woods and three other students from other colleges, alleges that Yale University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University and others failed to maintain the necessary protocols to “guarantee the sanctity of the college admissions process.”

“Unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission,” the suit reads.

Rick Singer and Edge College & Career Network were also named in the suit, which could expand to thousands of individuals that are seeking financial remedy from the universities and others over the scandal.

Singer previously pleaded guilty to running the scheme that relied upon a number of illegal activities -- including bribing athletic coaches and hiring individuals to take tests for students -- to get the children of TV star Felicity Huffman, former Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge, newly departed Hercules Capital CEO Manuel Henriquez and others into top-ranked U.S. universities.

Lawyers for Olsen and Woods claim their degree is “not worth as much” because potential employers may question if they were admitted by their own merits.

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In another lawsuit filed on Thursday, parent Jennifer Kay Toy alleged that her son was not admitted to schools while other, wealthy individuals bribed their children into the institutions. Toy seeks $500 billion in damages.

*This story was updated to reflect that an original plaintiff on the lawsuit, Erica Olsen, is no longer involved.