Local test prep services react to college admissions bribery scandal

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - At least 33 parents are accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes to get their children into universities. Federal authorizes are calling it the biggest college admissions scam that the U.S. Department of Justice has investigated.


Right now, the only Texas school on the list of universities involved in admissions scandal is the University of Texas. Texas A&M has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Local college prep services say they are confident this investigation will spark an internal review into test administration sites everywhere. Robb Jenson with Avant Garde College Prep Services in College Station helps students practice and prepare for the SAT and ACT.

"There's a lot of excellent colleges that exist out there, and being able to identify what happens to be a perfect fit and what's a good choice for the student. To go to those sorts of lengths, I feel like is so unnecessary and uncalled for," Jenson said.

Jenson has never been a test proctor because he worries it's a conflict of interest. He's seen the hard work and dedication students put forth to get a high score.

"Sad in the sense that there are a lot of students that do a great amount of work starting in eighth or ninth grade trying to build their applications for such schools that were mentioned on that list," Jenson said.

Governor Greg Abbott responded to the investigation Wednesday saying The University of Texas isn’t the only school that should be doing an internal review.

"It's important for every university to go back and re-evaluate, to study, and to investigate their admissions processes to make sure that nothing like this either is happening or can happen," Gov. Abbott said.

Jenson says every testing site hires their staff, and they typically have an education background. Every proctor is given strict instructions to follow during the test.

"There's a procedure and process in place and being able to carry that time and time again, because so much depends on those results and those tests," Jenson said.

KBTX reached out to Texas A&M University for comment, but they did not have one.