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University of Missouri officials told KBIA Tuesday they're scrutinizing "several dozen" student accounts after ProPublica Illinois reported that wealthy parents are forgoing legal guardianship to "scam" universities into qualifying their children for need-based financial aid.

Why it matters: Although ProPublica’s investigation focused on students in the Chicago suburbs, there is evidence that this practice is occurring nationally, University of Missouri spokesperson Christian Basi told the Columbia Missourian.

The big picture: The University of Missouri was one of several colleges identified by ProPublica in a report published Monday as giving aid to students of parents using the "loophole."

"A number of the children are high-achieving scholars, athletes and musicians who attend or have been accepted to a range of universities, from large public institutions, including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Missouri and Indiana University, to smaller private colleges."
— ProPublica report

What they're saying: Basi told the Columbia Missourian the college had yet to uncover a case, but it was analyzing data points associated with students’ personal and financial records to determine if they're eligible for aid. He told ABC 17 News if the university did uncover any cases, it would report them to the federal government.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign director of undergraduate admissions Andy Borst told ProPublica the university now asks more questions of students in such instances, which has deterred some families from continuing to seek university aid.
"It’s a scam. Wealthy families are manipulating the financial aid process to be eligible for financial aid they would not be otherwise eligible for. They are taking away opportunities from families that really need it."
— University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Andy Borst to ProPublica

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.