You know what they say: If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.
Seven Long Island teens were busted Tuesday for their alleged roles in an SAT cheating ring. Six Great Neck North High School students face misdemeanor charges, while the 19-year-old college student who prosecutors say was paid between $1,500 and $2,500 (with one notable exception) to stand in and take the exams faces up to four years in prison, the Associated Press reports.*
According to the New York Post, the college student, Sam Eshaghoff, allegedly used faked IDs to take tests for five boys and a girl who, conveniently, had a gender-neutral name. Each of the six high school students signed up to take the tests away from their own school, apparently so proctors wouldn’t recognize them. Then Eshaghoff, an Emory University transfer from the University of Michigan, allegedly flew to New York and absolutely demolished each exam.
Out of a possible 2400, Eshaghoff posted scores of 2220, 2210, 2140, 2180, 2180 and 2170.
It is not reported whether he was paid on a sliding scale. It is reported, though, that the girl didn’t have to pay to have her test taken.
“Colleges look for the best and brightest students, yet these six defendants tried to cheat the system and may have kept honest and qualified students from getting into their dream school,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Officials believe that the arrests may only be the tip of the iceberg. USA Today adds that Rice’s office is investigating whether similar SAT scams occurred in at least two other area high schools. Prosecutors also are investigating whether Eshaghoff took the SAT exam for others.
Great Neck is rated as one of the nation’s top academic high schools. Eshaghoff, who played on Great Neck’s football team, was charged with scheming to defraud, falsifying business records and criminal impersonation.
*Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the amount of money that Eshaghoff was allegedly paid to take the tests.