Sherry Guo is a former Yale student whose parents are accused of paying $1.2 million to secure her acceptance to the Ivy League University. Guo, who until now was only known as “Yale Applicant 1,” is no longer a student at Yale as of March.
On March 25, Yale released a statement confirming that “Yale Applicant 1” was no longer a student at the university. On Friday, April 26, The Wall Street Journal revealed Guo’s identity.
To The Wall Street Journal, Guo’s lawyer, James Spertus, defended Guo’s innocence, saying that Guo only learned English five years ago, and only moved to the United States as a teenager; Spertus says Guo was “so unfamiliar with how people apply to schools in the U.S. … [that] Rick Singer’s instructions to her didn’t seem as out of place as they would to a student who grew up in the United States and has more of an expectation of free choice.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Guo, 21, Is From China; She Was a Freshman
21-year-old Guo is from China. According to The New York Post, Guo moved to the U.S. as a teenager and attended high school in California. While at Yale, she worked at the Yale Layer, an undergraduate publication; her information has since been scrubbed.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Guo attended JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. She was an older student, which is why she was a 21-year-old college freshman this year. It’s not clear if her family moved with her to California, or if she had alternative living conditions during high school.
Though Guo’s family has not been charged, prosecutors have maintained that the investigation is ongoing. However, Spertus said to the publication, “I just don’t think the question of guilt is clear-cut in Sherry’s case, at all.”
2. Guo’s Social Media & LinkedIn Accounts Have Been Wiped Clean
All of Guo’s social media accounts, as well as her LinkedIn account, have been scrubbed.
Per court filings, Guo is “Yale Applicant 1.” The Wall Street Journal reports that an employee of a financial advisor in Los Angeles was the one who made the connection between William Singer and Guo’s father, whose name has not been released to the public. The day after this interaction, the publication reports, Singer sent Yale Soccer coach Rudy Meredith Guo’s alleged soccer resume, personal statement, and art portfolio (one of her self-portraits can be seen beneath fact #3.)
As a part of the court filings, an email from Singer to Laura Janke, a former assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Southern California, reads, was sent on Nov. 10, 2017, apparently on Guo’s behalf. The email reads, “[C]ould you please create a soccer profiles asap for this girl who will be a midfielder and attending Yale so she has to be very good. Needs to play Academy and no high school soccer…awards and honors — more info to come — need a soccer pic probably Asian girl.”
3. Guo Was Allegedly Admitted to Yale as a Soccer Recruit for Former Yale Coach Rudy Meredith
Guo, who was known as “Yale-Applicant 1” in the legal documents surrounding the scandal, was apparently accepted to Yale under the guise of being a recruit for the Yale soccer team. Per The New York Post, William Singer, the ringleader of the scandal, submitted a falsified athletic profile on her behalf, which painted Guo as the co-captain of her soccer team in Southern California.
Following this, Meredith then designated Guo as an official recruit, according to the court filings, even when he had full knowledge that she was not a soccer player. Following this, Meredith was given a check for $400,000. Singer presumably received the rest of the $1.2 million Guo’s family paid for her apparent admittance.
4. Meredith Has Pleaded Guilty in the College Admissions Scandal; Guo’s Family Has Not Been Charged
Rudy Meredith has since pleaded guilty to the charges against him, including charges related to racketeering conspiracy.
Guo’s family has not been charged with any crime, but Yale University did confirm last month that Guo was no longer a student there. Guo was a freshman at the time that the scandal broke. It’s unclear if she has transferred to another university or not.
5. Another Chinese Family Allegedly Paid $6.5 Million to William Singer; The Identity of that Family Is Not Public
At the same time that Guo’s name went public, another bombshell piece of information was released from the same Wall Street Journal report: the largest “bribe” uncovered within the college admissions scandal came from another Chinese family, who allegedly paid $6.5 million for their child to attend an unidentified school.