'My Kids Didn't Get Into Harvard:' Lawsuit Blames Education Consultant

By Andrew Lu on October 12, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Hong Kong couple is suing an education consultant because the couple's two children did not get into Harvard. They got into two other Ivy League schools instead. Heaven forbid!

The couple says that they hired the Boston-area consultant and handed over $2 million to help get their two sons into the hallowed halls of Harvard, reports ABC.

The money reportedly went to getting their sons into top prep schools in the U.S. and eventually into Harvard. However, the plan did not go accordingly, and the unnamed children were forced to spend their undergraduate years someplace outside of Cambridge like New Haven, Providence, or if they were truly unlucky, Ithaca.

In the lawsuit, the couple says that Mark Zimny and his company IvyAdmit Consulting Associates recruited their first son when he graduated as a ninth grader at a boarding school in Connecticut.

The couple says that Zimny told them that he was a Harvard professor and was heavily connected at the university. However, the couple later discovered that while Zimny was briefly a visiting professor at Harvard, his relationship with the university ended long before he met the couple, reports ABC.

During the relationship, the couple claims that Zimny encouraged the couple to give him more and more money. The education consultant allegedly represented that there was "embedded racism" against Asian donors and that there was a presumption that foreign students donate large sums in addition to paying full tuition at Harvard.

The education consulting fees started at $4,000 a month for each child and eventually became a $1 million retainer for each child -- $2 million total to get your kids into Harvard.

Zimny denies the fraud charges and says that he never misrepresented his relationship with Harvard. However, if the education consultant specifically promised that the two children would get into Harvard, he could be liable for breach of contract when the children were denied admission.

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