Frequently Asked Questions Related to Admissions Fraud Scheme

March 26, 2019

1.         How and when did Yale learn of the allegations about Rudy Meredith?

On November 16, 2018, Yale’s Office of the General Counsel received a federal grand jury subpoena from the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office requesting information about Rudy Meredith. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not share with Yale the full details of the allegations against Meredith or the extent of the investigation until the charges were unsealed on March 12, 2019.

2.         Why didn’t Yale’s Office of the General Counsel say something publicly when it first learned about Rudy Meredith?

The subpoena was accompanied by a letter from the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts and a non-disclosure order signed by a federal judge. The letter said, “Pursuant to the attached non-disclosure order, you must not disclose the existence of this subpoena, or the fact of your compliance therewith, to anyone. Any such disclosure could impede the investigation and thereby interfere with the enforcement of federal criminal law.” (Emphasis in the original.)

3.         Was Rudy Meredith’s departure from Yale related to this scheme?

Yale and Meredith began discussing his departure before November 16, 2018, which was the day Yale received the grand jury subpoena and first learned of the scheme.  When Yale announced Meredith’s resignation on November 15, 2018, Meredith knew of the scheme, but Yale did not.

4.         Were any students admitted to Yale as part of this scheme?

We believe that Rudy Meredith provided fraudulent athletic endorsements to two applicants only; one was denied admission despite the endorsement, and the other was admitted. Federal privacy law and Yale policy prevents Yale from revealing the name of either individual to the public.

5.         Is Yale conducting an investigation into the admitted student? What disciplinary action will Yale take?

Yale investigated the allegations, and the admission of the student who received a fraudulent endorsement has been rescinded.

6.         If any students admitted as part of this scheme have graduated, what will Yale do?

Yale has no evidence that a student admitted under this scheme has graduated.

7.         Is Yale conducting an investigation into whether anyone at Yale beyond Rudy Meredith was part of the scheme?

Yale has no evidence that any other Yale staff member or administrator participated in this scheme, but Yale is conducting a review with the assistance of outside counsel and will pursue any evidence we find of wrongdoing.

8.         What if any changes will be made at Yale to prevent this from happening again?

On March 15, 2019, President Salovey announced that in addition to cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation, Yale will conduct its own review in order to learn whether others have been involved in activities that have corrupted the athletic recruitment and admissions process. Yale will retain external advisors to recommend changes that will help the university detect and prevent efforts to defraud its admissions process. As part of this review, Yale will specifically examine the practices of commercial admissions consultants, whose work is conducted out of the view of admissions officers.

Since her arrival on July 1, 2018, Director of Athletics Victoria Chun has begun to put in place new policies and procedures regarding the oversight and assessment of Yale’s coaching staff. The goals of her initiatives are to ensure that student-athletes receive an excellent education at Yale and to enhance the quality of our athletic programs. In addition, going forward, Ms. Chun will conduct a review of coaches’ proposed rosters of recruits before they are sent to the admissions office, and situations in which a recruited athlete fails to make a team will receive close scrutiny. These measures will help prevent opportunities for undermining the fairness and integrity of the Yale College admissions process.

Ms. Chun is working with the Dean of Undergraduate Admission Jeremiah Quinlan to author a code of conduct for athletic recruitment. They also will design an even more robust training for all coaches to ensure they understand our recruitment procedures and the ethical expectations involved in supporting student athletes in our admissions process.

Each year, Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions reviews tens of thousands of applications in a five-month period. This undertaking is, by its nature, complex and dependent on applicants, teachers, counselors, and testing services providing reliable information. Yale’s admissions officers are savvy and careful, and when they discover suspicious information they make necessary inquiries.

No applicant is admitted according to a formula, and only students whose applications demonstrate their ability to succeed in the academic and residential components of the Yale experience are offered admission.

9.         Has Yale received donations from persons involved in this scheme?

The only person charged in the investigation who has made gifts to Yale is an alumnus, whose giving had no connection to the scheme.

10.       Was the endowment of a coaching position in Rudy Meredith’s name linked to this scheme?

No. The coaching position was endowed by supporters of the Yale Women’s Soccer program in 2013. Yale has removed Meredith’s name from the endowed position.   

11.       How does the athletic recruitment process work at Yale?

Under Yale and Ivy League rules, varsity coaches may offer support to a limited number of applicants whom they identify as prospective student athletes, but a coach’s endorsement by no means guarantees admission.  Yale and the Ivy League closely regulate the admissions criteria for student athletes, and an Admissions Office committee must decide that a recruited athlete has the skills to meet the rigorous academic demands of Yale College.  Ivy League schools are forbidden to provide athletic scholarships.