Records: USC gave extra attention to students tied to donors
BOSTON (AP) — Records released in federal court reveal that the University of Southern California sometimes takes family donations into account when deciding who gets admitted.
Spreadsheets and emails shared among admissions and athletics officials appear to track the fundraising history of certain applicants, with notes including “given 2 million already” and “potential donor.”
The records were filed in Boston’s federal court Tuesday by a parent charged in a sweeping admissions bribery scheme. Lawyers for Robert Zangrillo aim to argue that his alleged bribe to USC was no different than donations made by other parents.
USC officials say Zangrillo is only trying to divert attention from the fraud charges he faces. The school says it allows departments to flag applicants as “special interest” but that the admissions office makes the call on decisions.