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Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Harvard Rescinds 10 Admissions Offers in Response to Offensive Social Media Posts
It's been analyzed, documented and shared, thousands of times over. These days, many admissions officers are paying attention to the social media accounts of college applicants. In some circumstances-particularly at the graduate school level-a positive social media presence can help augment an application. There are, however, situations where bad behavior on social media can cause admission to be completely revoked. This is precisely what happened to ten Harvard admittees this week.
This year, Harvard offered admission to 2,056 of close to 40,000 applicants-an acceptance rate of just over 5%. Of those, 84% accepted the offers. These ten students were members of this highly select group before the Harvard pulled the rug out.
According to Harvard's own newspaper, The Crimson, the students were part of an online messaging group that the Class of 2021 set up in December of last year in order to "share memes about popular culture". At some point, the group evolved from lighthearted into one that hazed members by encouraging them to post more provocative memes. The R-rated memes granted them access to a splinter group with a much darker underbelly.
Among the topics "joked" about in the split-off group—child abuse and the Holocaust. On Harvard's official Facebook page for the class of 2021, students are warned that the university may rescind or deny offers on the basis of morally questionable behavior. Even appalling speech is constitutionally protected, but college admission is not a right.
These ten students just learned that the hard way.
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