But also facing scrutiny are professional essay coaches, hired as script doctors for the autobiographical essays students must include with their college applications.
I also sympathize with the college admissions officers who must read these essays.
Last week, federal prosecutors charged 50 people, including Hollywood actresses, business leaders and elite college coaches, in a brazen scheme to buy spots in the freshman classes at elite American universities.
If a student is found to have cheated on an exam like the SAT or lied on their application to the school, their fate would depend on where in the application process they were and whether they were already enrolled or had graduated when the cheating was discovered, Helwick said.
If they were in the middle of the application process, the school could easily take them out of consideration.
CNN has reached out to the Henriquezes for comment.
According to the affidavit, a proctor, who had been paid to sit by the Henriquezes' oldest daughter's side and provide answers during the exam, "gloated" with her and her mother "about the fact that they had cheated and gotten away with it." In the cases of students who were complicit in the cheating, Boland said such behavior warrants "immediate expulsion," adding universities need to show everyone they won't tolerate scamming the admissions process.
Universities face the hardest decisions for students who are still enrolled, Helwick said, and she said schools should be looking at whether these students were aware of the cheating or whether it was done by their parents behind the student's back.
Ed Boland, a former Yale University admissions officer and the author of his memoir, "The Battle for Room 314," agreed, and said a school's dean of students would likely launch an investigation to examine whether the student was aware of the cheating -- and if so, whether the student was complicit in the process.
Most of the students I have advised were applying to undergraduate school, but several were applying to graduate programs or law school.
I have always agreed to help, as a favor, and I have expected no payment — nor has anybody ever offered to pay me. Not necessarily poorly written, but poor in the sense that they are forgettable.