AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas confirmed it was notified that the U.S. Department of Education has launched a preliminary investigation into its admissions practices after eight colleges were tied to a possible admissions bribery scandal.
A spokesperson for the university said they were notified by a letter from the Department of Education and they will be responding to a series of questions regarding admissions as the university conducts its own internal review.
Other universities notified by letters from the department include Yale University, Wake Forest University, the University of San Diego, Stanford University, Georgetown University, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, according to a report from Politico.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos publically denounced the college admissions scandal as “disgraceful,” Politico reported, and asked department officials to look into whether any of the agency’s own regulations had been violated.
If the investigation finds any college violated federal education regulations, the Politico report states the department could enforce penalties that could include cutting off the universities' access to Pell Grants and federal student loans.
A list of some 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged in documents that describe a scheme to cheat the admissions process at the eight schools. These parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other university insiders to get their children into selective schools, officials said.
On March 12, UT tennis coach Michael Center was arrested for allegedly accepting nearly $100,000 in bribes. He was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services. He is expected to plead not guilty this week.