In 2011, Amy Chua set the parenting world ablaze with her book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, part of its subtitle reading, “This was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones.” As Chua found out, Chinese parenting doesn’t always work, and adjustments must be made.
For some wealthy Chinese parents, like many wealthy American parents, that means bribing their children into top schools. In an article on the ongoing college admissions scandal, The Wall Street Journal’s Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz explain the expensive steps some Chinese parents were willing to take to get their children into the best American schools. They write:
Families from China were among those who allegedly paid the most in the college admissions scandal, a new sign of the reach of the cheating ring.
One Chinese family allegedly paid $6.5 million to William “Rick” Singer, the California-based college counselor who has admitted to masterminding the scheme, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Another was the family of a student—referred to in court filings as “Yale Applicant 1”—who paid $1.2 million to secure her admission to Yale University. The student is 21-year-old Sherry Guo, who moved to Southern California from China to attend high school, her lawyer confirmed.
The families have been of particular interest in the case because they allegedly paid far more than nearly all of the 33 parents currently facing criminal charges in the scheme. Many parents paid $250,000 to $400,000 for the illegal admissions services, including securing fraudulent test scores and bribing coaches to have their children designated as recruited athletes, prosecutors say.
Ms. Guo had her eye on Columbia University or Oxford University, said her lawyer, James Spertus of Spertus, Landes & Umhofer LLP in Los Angeles.
But Mr. Singer told her she would go to Yale University. It was a sure thing, he said, according to Mr. Spertus. An attorney for Mr. Singer, who has pleaded guilty to four felony charges, including racketeering conspiracy, declined to comment.
Ms. Guo learned English after arriving in California about five years ago, Mr. Spertus said. She attended JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., south of Los Angeles, starting high school as an older student.
Ms. Guo was “so unfamiliar with how people apply to schools in the U.S.,” Mr. Spertus said. “Rick Singer’s instructions to her didn’t seem as out of place as they would to a student who grew up in the United States and has more of an expectation of free choice.”
The young woman did get into Yale, after Mr. Singer allegedly got her tagged as a recruited athlete, and started school there last fall, according to Mr. Spertus and court filings. She’s no longer at the school, her attorney confirmed.
A growing number of Chinese families are bringing their children to the U.S. for high school, or even elementary school, in the hopes of helping smooth the path to college admission down the line. Colleges sometimes scrutinize foreign agents who help coordinate applications from overseas students, but less so the role of U.S.-based independent college counselors—particularly those whose main client base is domestic.
Read more here.