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Wealthy Parents Signing Over Custody Of Children For Financial Aid

More Scandal In The College Community It seems celebrities aren’t the only people who cheat when it comes to college admissions. USA Today reports that wealthy parents are exploiting...

(Photo Source: flsouthern.edu)

More Scandal In The College Community

It seems celebrities aren’t the only people who cheat when it comes to college admissions. USA Today reports that wealthy parents are exploiting a loophole in financial-aid laws by giving up custody of their college-bound children so those children become eligible for aid.

“Here’s how the scheme worked,” USA Today reports. “ProPublica Illinois and The Wall Street Journal independently reported Monday that families near Chicago would give up legal guardianship of their children to relatives or friends. Students would then file for financial independence, which effectively opened the door to financial aid they wouldn’t have been able to access while under the legal care of their parents.”

The University of Illinois became suspicious when high school guidance counselors from wealthy communities began calling to inquire about orientation programs for low-income students. The university discovered that students had filed for legal emancipation from their parents, even though their parents were still supporting them. University officials called the scheme “legal, but unethical.”

The University of Illinois uncovered at least three students on campus who had used the scheme to get financial aid, and eleven more in the upcoming freshman class. It said it would not give any money directly to these students, but can’t stop them from receiving state and federal aid for low-income students.

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