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Georgetown University to Expel Two Students over Admissions Scandal

n this July 10, 2013, file photo, prospective students tour Georgetown University's campus in Washington.
Georgetown University to Expel Two Students over Admissions Scandal
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Georgetown University says it plans to expel two students following the national college admissions scandal uncovered earlier this year.

Georgetown officials announced the expulsions on Wednesday, several hours after one of the two students made public his own legal action against the school. Adam Semprevivo is taking the school to court over its treatment of him, including its refusal to let him change schools and keep his class credits.

Georgetown, which is in Washington, D.C., did not identify the expelled students or accuse them of wrongdoing. A legal representative for Semprevivo confirmed that he was one of the students, however.

So far, 50 people – including actors, business leaders and college coaches -- have faced criminal charges in the scandal.

Wealthy parents stand accused of paying large amounts of money to gain admission for their children at eight well-respected American colleges and universities. The schools include Stanford University, the University of Southern California and Yale University.

Stanford expelled one student linked to the scandal last month, while Yale denied another student’s admission in March.

No students have faced criminal charges. Some of the 33 parents who have been charged have said they tried to protect their children from what they were doing.

Georgetown officials say that knowingly misrepresenting or providing false information on application materials could be grounds for dismissal.

Meghan Dubyak, a Georgetown representative, said, “Each student case was addressed individually and each student was given multiple opportunities to … provide information to the university."

Earlier this month, Adam Semprevivo’s father admitted his guilt in planning to commit several kinds of fraud. The father, Stephen Semprevivo, is a wealthy executive based in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. Justice Department representatives say the father paid $400,000 to William “Rick” Singer to help his son get into Georgetown as part of the school’s tennis team. Singer is at the center of the scandal.

Stephen Semprevivo was the third parent to admit guilt. Another parent, American actor Felicity Huffman, admitted her guilt in a conspiracy charge on May 13.

David Kenner is a legal representative for Adam Semprevivo. He said the student received a letter on May 15 from Charles Deacon, Georgetown’s head of admissions. The letter announced Semprevivo's expulsion and the rescission, or cancellation, of his admission.

The rescission means Semprevivo must give up his academic credits and overall 3.18 grade point average. The school will also not return the nearly $200,000 his parents paid for him to study at Georgetown.

Kenner said Georgetown’s position towards Semprevivo is unacceptable and that the student’s lawyers will be seeking additional action against the school.

Government legal representatives say Semprevivo is among at least 12 Georgetown students involved in the scandal. They say former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst accepted those students as team members over a six-year period. In exchange, they say Ernst accepted more than $2.7 million in illegal payments from William Singer.

Adam Semprevivo never played tennis in his three years at Georgetown.

Ernst left Georgetown in 2018. He denied his guilt in a conspiracy charge in March.

Adam Semprevivo says he received “no assistance” from Singer on his high school classroom performance or on the SAT admissions exam. He also claims he had no knowledge of his father’s actions until February.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Jonathon Stempel reported on this story for the Reuters news service. Pete Musto adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

We want to hear from you. What do you think should happen to the students involved in the scandal? Write to us in the Comments Section.


Words in This Story

scandaln. an incident in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong

credit(s) – n. a unit that measures a student's progress towards earning a degree in a school or college

coach - n.

address(ed) – v. to give attention to something

multipleadj. more than one

opportunitiesn. amounts of time or situations in which something can be done

fraudn. the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person

conspiracyn. the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

grade point average (GPA) – n. a number that indicates a student's average grade