University admissions fraud case worries independent college counselors

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The U.S. Justice Department's college admissions investigation is casting a dark shadow over the independent college counseling industry.

One popular Brentwood counselor said he wasn't surprised to hear that laws were being broken, but was shocked when he saw the amount of money that was involved.

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Some students who had trouble getting into UCLA or USC are expressing dismay that the parents of some wealthy students were able to buy their way in.

"I think it's really unfortunate, it's really disgusting actually," said Danny Ruderman, who's been a college counselor in Southern California for more than 15 years.

Ruderman said the admissions counseling industry has taken off over the past 20 years and that many of the businesses are running fair and legal operations designed to get high school students into the a college that best suits them. But Ruderman said there are some shady operators in the industry.

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"A lot of people just hang shingles and really don't have any experience in it," Ruderman said. "And that's the problem. There's no regulation in this industry."

When asked if the scandal will tarnish the reputation of all independent college counselors, Ruder said it most likely would.

"It probably will for a while but hopefully those of us who do the job right can spread the message that there is a way to do it correctly."
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