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In a new twist to the college admissions scandal, a father accused of resorting to fraud and bribery to get his daughter into USC has subpoenaed the university for records detailing its admissions process and to what degree, if any, it is influenced by donations.

The subpoena is an early indication that parents charged in the college admissions scam intend to take aim at a sensitive — and to this point secretive — calculation: how presumably meritocratic decisions on whom to admit or reject can be weighted by an applicant’s wealth.

USC has asked a judge to quash the subpoena, saying the demand from Robert Zangrillo, a Miami financier whose daughter was admitted to USC in 2018, amounted to “an impermissible fishing expedition.”

The university’s retort, which includes an affidavit from its dean of admissions, sheds light on the private school’s opaque and increasingly selective admissions process and, in particular, its practice of flagging certain applicants as “special interest.”

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