DePaul University confirmed Wednesday the man who allegedly helped wealthy families get their kids into college by bribing universities across the country—has personal ties to the Chicago school.
The national college admissions cheating scandal hits too close to home for some DePaul students. The university said the mastermind behind it all not only sent his son there, but gave more than $100,000 in donations through his foundation.
The university said it received gifts totaling $150,000 through the Key Worldwide Foundation— managed by William Singer— whose son graduated from the university in 2017.
Singer recently pleaded guilty on federal racketeering and money laundering charges— accused of being the ringleader behind the $25 million college admission scam that implicated dozens— including Hollywood actresses like Felicity Huffman.
The end goal of the scam was to get kids from wealthy families into Ivy Leauge schools through bribes.
"It’s disheartening because I feel like it cheapens the degree for the rest of us," said DePaul student Ryan McCarthy.
Schen Ong is also a Depaul student.
"It takes away from a lot of the people who work really hard," Ong said.
Students at the university NBC 5 spoke with were shocked only about the Chicago connection to the national scandal.
Not the scam itself.
"It really just shows the power that money has," Lauren Paris said.
“DePaul isn’t an Ivy League school so it would kind of surprise me if the kid didn’t get in on his own merit," Madeline Mertes.
In a statement— a university spokeswoman said "DePaul solicits a number of constituencies for gifts, including parents. Not unlike many parents, Mr. Singer made several contributions to DePaul. All were in support of helping students study abroad. To date, our review has not revealed any reason to believe these donations are connected to recent indictments."