Home News If Dad Bribes Your Way In, Can You Sue to Stay? – Inside Higher Ed

If Dad Bribes Your Way In, Can You Sue to Stay? – Inside Higher Ed


Lawsuit raises question of whether student having his admission rescinded is entitled to the protections he would otherwise receive.

A student involved in the admissions scandal sued Georgetown University in federal court hours before the university expelled two students, reportedly including the one who sued.

The litigation raises questions about whether a student loses the due process rights accorded by the university to all students if he lied on his application and thus arguably was never entitled to those rights. And the litigation demonstrates the extent to which colleges in the scandal may face long and expensive legal disputes.

The suit was filed by Adam Semprevivo, who just finished his junior year at Georgetown. His father, Stephen Semprevivo, pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors said the elder Semprevivo paid $400,000 in bribes to have his son admitted as a recruit to the university’s tennis team, even though Adam Semprevivo was not a tennis player. Being on the recruited-athlete list of a team can provide a significant leg up to applicants at colleges with highly competitive admissions, such as Georgetown.

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