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Stanford students sue universities over college admissions scam

The universities caught up in the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice are now facing a class-action lawsuit.

Two Stanford University students, Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, filed a lawsuit against Stanford, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest, Yale University, and Georgetown University, CNN reports.

These schools were named this week as the Justice Department announced charges against dozens of people who they allege participated in a scheme involving parents paying bribes to have their kids admitted to college under false pretenses. In addition to the parents, college coaches were also charged, although prosecutors said the schools were victims.

The students' complaint says that the universities involved "were negligent" in failing to maintain the "sanctity of the college admissions process" and "ensure that their own employees were not engaged in these type of bribery schemes." They also say that their Stanford degrees are now less valuable because the scandal may lead to questions about their admission to the university, CNN reports.

Stanford's admissions process was "unfair" and "rigged," the lawsuit says, with the students also saying they applied to other schools named but did not receive the "fair admissions consideration process" that they paid for upon applying. The Los Angeles Times reports the suit is seeking damages for any student who was rejected from any of the universities named between 2012 and 2018.