Yesterday, The New York Times let the world in a secret about upstate liberal arts college Vassar: The school had sent out 70 early decision acceptance letters by accident on Friday to candidates that were actually rejected from the school.
While this might be chalked up to a Oops! moment (as was the headline at The Daily Mail), the emotional toll for students and families who celebrated acceptance only to be told an hour later that they actually hadn’t gotten in to the prestigious “Seven Sisters” school were devastating.
The New York Observer spoke to a family member of one of the accepted/rejected applicants, Ciani Holdman-Williams from Arlington, Texas. His uncle, Kevin Holdman, had been helping him through the application process.
“I think this is wrong, this is totally unacceptable,” Mr. Holdman told the Observer. “Kevin had a 3.6 GPA. He teaches Sunday class every week, spends every summer as a counselor at a Bible camp for kids, and volunteers at Mission at Arlington. He’s treasurer for his French Club, and participates in Art Club…he’s an amazing artist who has won awards in local competitions.”
Mr. Holdman logged in to Vassar’s site at 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday and printed out his nephew’s acceptance letter, which included a student ID. He called Kevin, who checked the site four minutes later to find his application revoked.
“Kevin and his mother contacted the school and received this very generic form letter from the president. I don’t know what kind of actions we can take, but if the school refuses to work with us, we’re ready to go to court over this,” Mr. Holdman said.
Many of them took to the website CollegeConfidential to share the good news, only to come back the same day and vent their feelings.