One of the reasons the Hallmark actress is hesitating: Reports say she's concerned about the potential impact on her daughters.
“Yes, she can think about the public perception of her, but that’s nothing compared to what her daughters think of her. So that is something that has understandably made her less likely to enter a plea," the source added.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to get their young daughters into USC by falsely identifying them as crew recruits, even though they never participated in the sport.
The couple face the same charges, and their legal situation was made exponentially worse on Tuesday when they (along with 14 other parents) were indicted on additional charges of money laundering. The maximum prison sentence is 20 years for each charge.
“From the beginning, she didn’t want to take a deal, because she felt that she hadn’t done anything that any mom wouldn’t have done if they had the means to do so,” the source said. “So this wasn’t her being obstinate; this was her truly not understanding the seriousness of the allegations.”
The other celebrity parent involved in the college bribe scandal — Felicity Huffman — already pleaded guilty. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions," she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the student statuses of Loughlin's two daughters at USC are up in the air. The university said the students involved in the alleged scheme will be under review.
"USC determined which applicants in the current admissions cycle are connected to the alleged scheme and they will be denied admission. A case-by-case review of current students who may be connected to the alleged scheme is also underway. We will make informed decisions about those cases as the reviews are completed," the college wrote on its website.