A controversial video discussing ways on how to get into top-rate American university has been making rounds on social media.

The video that was documented in 2017 shows a Chinese female student named Yusi Zhao wearing a white buttoned-up polo and sitting on a white chair while giving pointers on how to be accepted into Stanford University, a prime learning institution in the US. At the time of the recording, Ms. Zhao was about to begin her freshman year.

In the video, she debunks the common misconception that getting into Stanford is an easy feat for students who come from affluent families. According to Ms. Zhao, the University’s admission officers are clueless about students’ family background and that she passed the admission test through her own hard work.

But recent news says otherwise. A report from The New York Times says that information from an undisclosed source revealed that Ms. Zhao’s parents allegedly paid 6.5 million US dollars to ensure her admission to the university. The recipient of the money is said to be a college consultant who actually forefronts this kind of schemes.

The consultant, who was identified by prosecutors as William Singer, purportedly faked documents to get Ms. Zhao into the university’s sailing team. The documents were made to appear that Ms. Zhao had a throng of achievements on the said sport.

Ms. Zhao, whose family comes from Beijing, owns a large pharmaceutical company. She is only one of the many high-profiles involved in the said scam.  Prominent names from Hollywood and the American commercial industry are also being dragged into the controversy. Another family from China was also revealed to have paid 1.2 million USD for their daughter’s admission to Yale.

Unbeknownst to some, this type of scheme is not unpopular in China. Many families resort to the likes of Mr. Singer to achieve elite American education. In fact, just a few blocks away from the Zhao’s residence in China, establishments can be seen advertising certain companies that offer assurance of admission to their chosen US colleges in exchange of a hefty fee.

The upturn of this kind of business is seen as an offshoot of the rising number of Chinese students in international schools.

In the US, one-third of the total number of international students is comprised of Chinese.

Fifty people were indicted by the federal prosecutors with regards to these admission cases. Mr. Singer confessed to his offences, while Ms. Zhao was dismissed from Stanford.