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Harvard-Stanford Admissions Hoax Becomes International Scandal

The Korean math prodigy at one of the nation’s top high schools had Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on the phone, personally encouraging the teenager to attend Harvard University. She received letters from Harvard professors, encouraging her to bring her brilliant abilities to Cambridge next fall instead of accepting her admission to Stanford University on the opposite coast.

As she struggled to decide between five-figure scholarship promises from both schools, she got a novel offer: She could spend two years at each elite school as part of an arrangement just for her. The exciting dual-enrollment opportunity garnered starstruck coverage from Korean media outlets, which dubbed her the “Genius Girl.”

But none of it was true.