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US universities considering expelling students in scam

The University of Southern California says it may expel students tied to a US college-admissions scam after reviewing their records.

The school said it has already “placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme”, preventing them from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts.

“Following the review, we will take the proper action related to their status, up to revoking admission or expulsion,” the college said in a tweet on Monday night.

It did not name specific students.

Fifty people were charged last week with participating in what federal prosecutors called a $US25 million ($A35 million) bribery and fraud scam.

The mastermind of the scheme last week pleaded guilty to racketeering charges for bribing coaches, cheating on standardised tests and fabricating athletic profiles to help children of wealthy families gain admission to top universities including Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.

Prosecutors said some students involved in the scandal were not aware their parents had made the alleged arrangements, although in other cases they knowingly took part. None of the children were charged.

A Georgetown University spokesperson said on Tuesday the school would not comment on disciplinary action against individual students linked to the scandal, but added it was “reviewing the details of the indictment, examining our records, and will be taking appropriate action”.

Yale University, UCLA, and the University of Texas said last week that any students found to have misrepresented any part of their applications may have their admission rescinded.

Stanford University said it was “working to better understand the circumstances around” one of its students linked to the scheme.

Wake Forest University’s president said last week: “We have no reason to believe the student was aware of the alleged financial transaction.”

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