Gerald and Lily Chow are citizens of Hong Kong and the parents of two sons.
The Chow’s say that when one of their sons graduated from 9th grade from a boarding school in Massachusetts in June 2007, that they were approached by a man named Mark Zimny.
The parents claim that Zimny told them that he was a professor at Harvard University and that he could use his connections to get their sons into Ivy league colleges.
The parents came to an arrangement with Zimny and his company, IVadmit Consulting Associates located in Cambridge Massachusetts.
The arrangement was that the Chow’s paid $4000 a month for each child to receive tutoring and other services plus a $1 million dollar retainer per child in an effort to get their sons admitted to a prestigious American University, preferably Harvard.
The sons did not get into Harvard and the Chow’s have allegedly later found out that Zimny was never a professor at Harvard University, although he had briefly been a visiting assistant Prof. and lecturer at the University two years before he had met the Chow’s.
Zimny also allegedly asked for another million dollars for a donation which, the Boston Globe reported, would be funneled by Zimny to the Universities since there was “embedded racism” against Asian students and Zimny advised the family not to donate directly to the schools.
There are many educational consultants throughout the country that offer services to help get students into universities and they mainly target wealthy foreign families although the fees charged by Zimny’s firm seem exorbitant.
The Hong Kong couple sues education consultant for 2 million in an effort to get back the money the paid out.
Although it is sad that the Chow’s lost so much money and appear to have been taken advantage of, what’s even sadder is that the very wealthy are oftentimes able to buy their way into prestigious Ivy League universities.