T. M. Landry

A Louisiana school embroiled in scandal over alleged abuse and college admissions fraud.

T.M. Landry College Preparatory, located in Lafayette, Louisiana, was established in 2005 by Tracey and Mike Landry as a private, unaccredited, co-educational college-preparatory school for grades K–12. Initially praised for its remarkable success in college admissions, including a 100% acceptance rate to four-year colleges, the school came under intense scrutiny following a 2018 New York Times investigative report. This report unveiled allegations of abuse, falsification of transcripts, and college applications. The founders, Mike, a former salesman turned teacher, and Tracey, a nurse, aimed to provide an education that prepared students to thrive in a culturally diverse and technological society.

History and Operations

T.M. Landry began as a homeschool for the Landrys’ five children before transitioning into a full-fledged school. Operating out of a former factory building since 2017, it boasted small class sizes with tuition costs up to $675 per month. Despite its non-traditional approach, not using textbooks, issuing homework, or assigning specific class schedules, T.M. Landry achieved national fame for its viral videos showcasing student acceptances to prestigious universities such as Cornell, Harvard, and NYU.

Scandal and Allegations

The acclaim turned to controversy when the New York Times piece detailed severe accusations against the school and its founders. Allegations included physical and emotional abuse by Michael Landry, who had previously pleaded guilty to a count of simple battery, and accusations of encouraging students to lie on college applications for admission to elite institutions. The school was accused of fabricating student accomplishments and community service activities, leading to an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2019. Despite these serious allegations, a group hired by T.M. Landry later reported they found no evidence to support the claims against the school.

Media Attention and Documentary

Prior to the scandal, T.M. Landry was the subject of extensive media coverage, celebrated for its success in sending black, working-class students to top colleges. This positive attention was amplified by social media and television appearances, including features on the Today show, Ellen, and CBS Morning News. However, following the allegations, the school’s story was further explored in a documentary titled “Accepted,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021, providing a deeper look into the claims and the school’s operations.


In the wake of the scandal and the negative media attention, T.M. Landry closed its doors in 2022. The school’s legacy is now marred by the controversy, raising questions about the pressures of college admissions, the exploitation of racial stereotypes for media and financial gain, and the regulatory oversight of private educational institutions. The T.M. Landry scandal not only exposed the dark underbelly of a seemingly successful educational model but also sparked a broader dialogue on race, stereotypes, and inequality in American education​​​​​​.

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