As the school year comes to an end, your thoughts may be turning to preparing your child for college. Whether a university has already accepted your child or you are spending the summer helping with applications and essays, you may have high hopes for your teenager. This includes getting him or her into a quality college that will provide impressive credentials for your child’s future.

Unfortunately, the path that some parents take to obtain admission into college for their children includes illegal methods. While you may not be part of the widely publicized scandal that recently rocked the admissions departments in several prestigious institutions, more officials are looking into colleges across the country, and your contribution to your child’s admission may come under scrutiny.

When helping your child, how far is too far?

Admissions departments at a college or university look at many factors when considering a student’s application. Of course, your child’s grades will be an important element, but also SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities and letters of recommendation. Achievement on an athletic team may open doors as well. The more elite the institution, the more stringent the standards for acceptance.

Recently, parents have faced criminal charges for paying others to take the SAT for their children, paying proctors to change the incorrect answers on their children’s tests, bribing coaches to accept their children based on sports the children never played and other acts of fraud. The charges include these and others:

  • Identity fraud
  • Racketeering, which is participating in an illegal scheme
  • Mail and wire fraud, including using the U.S. postal service, telephone or internet to commit fraudulent acts
  • Conspiracy, which is when more than one person works together to commit a crime
  • Money laundering by depositing bribe money into a fake charity
  • Tax crimes related to the use of a fake charity

Colleges and authorities are on high alert, and the actions of parents to assist their children in getting into college may now be under a microscope. If you feel you may be investigated for any actions you took to gain admission for your child into a college or university, you would be wise to allow a skilled Louisiana attorney to evaluate your situation. Seeking legal advice proactively may allow you to establish a strong defense against charges of fraud or other misconduct.