In September, Nassau County authorities arrested 19-year-old Samuel Eshaghoff for accepting payments—$1,500-2,500—in exchange for taking high school students' SATs. Now Eshaghoff is going public, telling 60 Minutes he was just being a good guy, "A kid who has a horrible grade-point average, who, no matter how much he studies is going to totally bomb this test. By giving him an amazing score, I totally give him...a new lease on life. He's going to go to a totally new college...be bound for a totally new career...new path in life." So they could then drop out of college?
Eshaghoff took tests for a number of students (including a girl with a gender neutral name), scoring between 2170 and 2220. The Emory University sophomore says the scam started when someone told him, "Yo, you're good on your SATs and I'm not. And you know this is possible. How much is it going to take?" As for criticism that the cheating meant other students who were honest and got crappy SATs scores on their own were punished by the fakery, he said, "[My clients] really [weren't] displacing somebody...I feel confident defending the fact that [my clients] getting into the schools that they ended up getting into didn't really affect other people."
A plea deal will allow Eshaghoff to avoid jail time and tutor low-income students on their standardized test-taking.