A burgeoning SAT and ACT cheating scandal in New York state has ensnared an Indiana University student.
IU sophomore Adam Justin surrendered to investigators in Nassau County, N.Y., on Tuesday. Prosecutors say he’s one of four students who accepted payment from nine other Long Island-area students to take their SAT or ACT exams.
Justin is one of 20 students who’ve been arrested since September in connection with the alleged cheating ring.
The scandal has raised questions about the security of college entrance exams and about how much, if anything, parents knew about the alleged cheating.
Chris Munzing, the Nassau County District Attorney’s deputy communications director, says Justin was paid $500 to take multiple tests. On one SAT exam he took, Munzing says Justin scored of 1920 — better than 89.2 percent of test-takers.
IU dean of students Pete Goldsmith says the university could pursue disciplinary action against Justin — including possible expulsion — under the student conduct or academic misconduct policy, but would not speculate on the outcome of the case.
Goldsmith says keeping ACT and SAT tests secure is important to the university.
“Obviously, we want accurate results because we’re trying to help students and their families make the best decisions about where they can go to school, and which students we think will fit in best at IU,” Goldsmith told StateImpact.
Arnold Kriss, Justin’s attorney, released a statement saying the matter “will be resolved in the appropriate forum in due time.”
“Notwithstanding the frenzy regarding this matter, the presumption of innocence still governs,” Kriss wrote.
Munzing says the district attorney has called for heightened security on these tests, saying potential cheaters can too easily skirt security procedures by registering to take the SAT or ACT at another school where proctors won’t catch their fake ID’s.
“If you take a test at another school, nobody knows you. So you can go to another school and no one will recognize you,” Munzing told StateImpact.
The Long Island Press reports the scandal stretched beyond the 20 who have been charged:
The investigation also uncovered 40 more students who either took the SAT for someone else or paid to have the test taken, but some were unable to be charged because the statue of limitations ran out, Rice said. She added that while the investigation is continuing she will push for reforms within the system.
New York state senator Ken LaValle is holding legislative hearings on the scandal. He told CBS New York he believes parents are involved too:
“There are parents that are complicit in this. They are involved. You can’t tell me that students are walking around with $3,500, or $2,500, or $1,200. That’s a lot of money, and that means the parents were involved,” Sen. LaValle said.