After Mistake, a Mea Culpa From Vassar

Ann McClure's picture

After 76 applicants were mistakenly told they had been accepted to Vassar College, its president has apologized for the “considerable confusion and hurt” caused by the “terribly upsetting event,” and said the college would reimburse the students’ $65 application fees.

“Vassar prides itself on providing a professional and personal relationship with everyone in our community,” Vassar’s president, Catharine Hill, wrote in an e-mail to the applicants on Sunday night. “Obviously we have failed dramatically to do so in this instance.”

On Friday, around 4 p.m., 122 students who had applied for binding early admission to Vassar saw what the school later called a “test letter” congratulating them on their acceptance. Hours later, the students received a message saying the letter had been posted in error. Once the correct decisions were displayed, only 46 of the students were told they had been accepted.

Some parents have called on Vassar to accept the rest of the students anyway, reasoning that because early decision applications are binding, the school should be held to its initial answer as well, even if it was delivered in error. One family in Connecticut said it was considering legal action.

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