May 05, 2017 09:44 AM EDT
Yue Wang, 25, allegedly took the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) test for three other Chinese nationals. Wang is a student at the Hult International Business School in Cambridge.
According to the Boston Globe, the three other culprits were Shikun Zhang, 24, Leyi Huang, 21, and Xiaomeng Cheng, 21. Reportedly, over 9, 000 colleges, universities, and agencies all over the world use the exam. In fact, the US government makes use of it too to extend or renew F-1 student visas.
Zhang, Huang, and Cheng purportedly presented Wang's TOEFL score to apply and be admitted to the Northeastern University, Penn State University, and Arizona State University respectively. The culprits have paid roughly $7, 000 to take the test after they have failed to meet the universities' minimum entrance exam scores. They all face immigration-related charges of "conspiring to defraud" the United States.
William B. Wienreb, acting US attorney for the District of Massachusetts, explained in earlier media interviews that the TOEFL exam "ensures that international students have an adequate English language skills to succeed in collegiate studies in America. Also, it ensures security and maintains borders in the immigration system. Apparently, more Chinese people are enrolling in US colleges driven by the promise of good jobs.
Per Reuters, the Institute of International Education noted that Chinese enrollees grew by nine percent in the school year 2015 to 2016. The total population was 135, 629 students. Thus, stricter guidelines must be imposed in order to make sure that everyone, not just the Chinese, will take the exams seriously.
For the record, the latest of the US college entrance exam scams followed a similar one in 2015. The US Justice Department filed charges against 15 Chinese nationals who planned to pay others to take college tests for their friends. The lawyers of the four arrested Chinese have not yet issued any statement regarding this matter.
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