Gerald and Lily Chow reportedly shelled out over two million dollars over two years to Mark Zimny and his education consultancy, IvyAdmit, to help them navigate the U.S. educational system, and chiefly, to make their Ivy League dreams come true:
Zimny, whom they met in 2007, had credentials. He had worked as a professor at Harvard. He ran an education consultancy, IvyAdmit. And he had a plan to help the Chows' two sons, then 16 and 14.Yo, what exactly does $2.2 million pay for? What exactly did the Chows think throwing all that money at IvyAdmit would actually accomplish -- magically make their kid more appealing to Harvard admissions? Sounds like they got scammed... and they probably deserved it.
First, Zimny's company would provide tutoring and supervision while the boys attended American prep schools. Then, according to a complaint and other documents the Chows filed as part of a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston, Zimny said he would grease the admissions wheels, funneling donations to elite colleges while also investing on the Chows’ behalf.
According to the suit, Zimny warned the Chows against giving to schools directly. “Embedded racism” made development offices wary of Asian donors, he allegedly advised them; better to use his company as a middleman.
Over two years, the Chows gave IvyAdmit $2.2 million.