In the wake of a scandal in which dozens of wealthy parents are accused of paying bribes to get their kids into prestigious colleges, local institutions of higher learning say they don't expect to deal with much backlash.

Bill Kraus, University of Akron associate provost for enrollment management, said all potential students, including student athletes, must meet the same requirements for admission to Akron.

And coaches, he said, don't play a role in admissions decisions.

Roughly 50 people — among them actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and coaches accused of taking bribes — were charged in what federal authorities are calling the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

Parents are accused of paying hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, in bribes to get their child into some of the nation's most elite schools.

Prosecutors said the parents — many wealthy and prominent in their fields — paid admissions consultants from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes, find others to take college entrance exams for the students and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students' answers on college admissions tests.

Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their child would get enrolled at an elite college.

Kraus said the incident will leave the College Board, which oversees the SAT test, and ACT officials, searching for answers on how to tighten their testing procedures to prevent fraud.

"There was no way these people were not going to get caught at some point," he said. "There were too many people involved."

While the scandal may be a black eye for the higher education system, Kraus believes only specific schools will suffer consequences.

"From the beginning, the institutions that were impacted were clearly defined," he said. "They wanted their kids to go to prestigious schools."

Investigators said coaches at Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, University of Texas, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles were involved in the bribes.

Last year, University of Akron officials tightened their admission requirements to ensure quality students who would succeed at the school would get in, Kraus said.

UA admission is based on a number of factors. Potential students are required to provide high school transcripts and have an ACT or SAT test score, he said.

"It really is a holistic review," Kraus explained. "We are looking at how well they did on the ACT/SAT. We are looking at their GPA and the courses they took as well as other things."

Ryan Smith, the assistant director of academic marketing at University of Mount Union in Alliance, provided a statement on behalf of the college Wednesday saying admission decisions are not based on a family’s ability to pay.

"We try to be financially available to individuals from all socioeconomic levels," he said in an email. "Further, we take a holistic and individualized approach to admission that takes into account the entire academic record. As a member of the NCAA’s Division III, we are honor bound to treat athletes and non-athletes exactly the same regarding admission and financial aid.”

Keturah Kneuss, interim assistant director of enrollment management and student services for Kent State University at Stark, said prospective students must provide a high school transcript or GED. From there, test scores will help determine what track a student will take to assure success.

Kneuss believes the national incident highlights how Kent Stark is different because the school allows access to all people no matter their academic record or financial ability.

"There is no pressure," she said. "That's the kind of pressure that likely drove those parents to do what they could to provide their children with the best opportunity."

Kneuss said Kent State at Stark is providing the same high quality educational experience that any student can have at a variety of other institutions.

"They are not missing out," she added.

While no one wants to see a scandal in their industry, Kneuss said, sometimes such events can put things into perspective.

"We can sit back and reflect on what we are doing really well. It's a wake-up call," she said. "Sometimes that is really good for any institution," she said.

Unlike many colleges, the Kent Stark campus is an open-enrollment university offering a college education to anyone.

"Something like this [scandal] highlights our mission," she said. "We believe education opens the doors and we want to provide an education for all people. We are leveling the playing field."

While open enrollment is key for the Kent Stark campus, Kneuss said, it is not for everyone. Every institution has its own culture.

"When these kinds of incidents happen, it gives us a moment to examine what our true principles are and what we want," Kneuss said.