Business, Economics and Jobs

Princeton Review lied about tutoring kids to get more money, lawsuit says


Columbia University campus.


Alexander Besant

Last September, the Princeton Review, a leading standardized test preparation company, published a blog post about teenagers who cheat on tests. "Is Cheating 'No Big Deal' for Teens?" the headline asks. But it now appears that the standardized test company is caught up in a cheating scandal of its own.

The United States and New York State are suing the Princeton Review in Federal Court for fraud, Courthouse News Service reported. Prosecutors say that the company took millions of dollars of federal money to tutor underprivileged children in New York City. But in some cases, instead of actually tutoring the kids, the company just pocketed the money, prosecutors say. 

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From 2002 to 2010, the Princeton Review had a contract with the New York City Department of Education to tutor poor children after school, Reuters reported.  Princeton Review got $35 to $75 per student per hour. But, according to the lawsuit, Princeton Review began billing the city for students who never actually showed up to class.

In one instance, Princeton Review billed the city for tutoring 74 students in the Bronx on New Years Day -- a day when tutoring classes weren't even scheduled because it was a holiday, CNN reported

“The company and certain of its employees forged student signatures, falsified sign-in sheets and provided false certifications in order to deceitfully profit from a well-meaning program,” the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement, according to the New York Times