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Vassar College mistake

This incident reminds me of a situation when my friend got accepted from Cornell University at around midnight and then got rejected the next morning saying that it was a mistake from admission committee.. We still make fun of him about that :LOL:
 
Things like this happened every single year but does not get the media attention as the one above. When it happened to applicants from India/China, the students aren't going to complain to the press so it's like it never happened.
I know of cases where PT students to an MFE/MathFin program were mistakenly reviewed together with FT applicants while they are supposed to reviewed separately. As a result, the PT students were denied admission.
Things happen. To err is human.
 
Anecdote: An accident occurred in the admission decisions regarding applicants to the dentist program at Uppsala University in Sweden. The ones with the worst academic performances got admitted instead of the ones with the best. Due to Swedish law, a decision like this cannot be revoked (there are exceptions, e.g. if someone cheated etc) so the solution was to accept all applicants. At the end of the 5.5 years, there was no difference in final grades between the two groups.
 
I would sue just like that family in Connecticut. That is just not cool. I can only imagine the anxiety attacks and grief that mistake is causing.
 
Good luck with the lawsuit. I also can't take seriously the demands to accept those students out of some sort of fairness. Is that fair to other students -- who were rejected and not mistakenly accepted -- that they stay rejected?

As a side note, I find it amusing that the same people who would have otherwise committed to Vassar (this is early decision, after all) and been proud of it are now making statements about Vassar's "inflated ego," etc.
 
I don't know much about contract law so please correct me if I am wrong.

If on the application it stated that it was a binding decision and they send me a letter saying that I am accepted, isn't it then enforceable by law?
 
I don't know exactly what happened or didn't happen in this case, but in general, an acceptance letter is not binding if it is withdrawn before it is accepted. If any of the people who were given the letter actually accepted the offer of admission, then legally, they would likely have a strong case. However, if the college merely stated that the applicants were accepted (which I believe to be the case), it is not a contract until the offer is accepted, and thus it is unenforceable.
 
I don't know exactly what happened or didn't happen in this case, but in general, an acceptance letter is not binding if it is withdrawn before it is accepted. If any of the people who were given the letter actually accepted the offer of admission, then legally, they would likely have a strong case. However, if the college merely stated that the applicants were accepted (which I believe to be the case), it is not a contract until the offer is accepted, and thus it is unenforceable.

The issue here is that all of these particular students applied to Vassar under an "Early Decision" program, whereby at the time of application, such candidates have each signed a binding commitment to attend that school if admitted. In other words, "If you admit us, we shall come."
(Students can only make such an "Early Decision" application to at most one university.)

Students who are admitted by their "Early Decision" school must then immediately withdraw any outstanding "Regular Decision" applications which they may have submitted to other universities, because any admission offer from such other universities (generally rendered in April) would be moot.

So, in this case, there is no issue of the students "accepting the offer of admission", because they have all "accepted" such offer in advance.
 
I read one story where one girl was lucky that she didn't withdraw her other regular college applications. Otherwise, the Vassar admission mistake would have been more painful :D
 
So, in this case, there is no issue of the students "accepting the offer of admission", because they have all "accepted" such offer in advance.

You can't accept an offer that will be made in the future. Early decision agreements are like non-compete agreements: the students promise not to apply to other schools early decision, and they promise not to accept offers from other colleges. You can be accepted early decision and choose not to go, because you haven't accepted the offer.
 
You can't accept an offer that will be made in the future. Early decision agreements are like non-compete agreements: the students promise not to apply to other schools early decision, and they promise not to accept offers from other colleges. You can be accepted early decision and choose not to go, because you haven't accepted the offer.

aaronhotchner,

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about. Read the binding agreement:

https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2012/2012EarlyDecision_download.pdf

"Early Decision (ED) is the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll."

Having applied and been admitted under an "early decision" scheme, a candidate only has an "out" in the case where the student has also applied for financial aid, but the college does not extend an award which makes it financially feasible for the student to attend.

"Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment."

For students from wealthy families who are able to pay the entire educational cost themselves, and thus do not require any financial aid, if they choose to apply to a college under the early decision scheme and that college does admit them, then such student has indeed, at the time of submission of the above-referenced form, "accepted an offer that will be made in the future."
 
Vassar is not accepting the 76 students, so... clearly you don't know what you're talking about. Legal theory and empirical evidence appear to be much stronger than your argument of quoting wikipedia and the Common App. You do know that it's impossible to legally compel a student to go to college, right?
 
I didn't say that Vassar was "accepting" them. Rather, Vassar is claiming that they had erroneously advised the students of an incorrect admissions decision.

Your argument is suggesting that a student would apply early decision to his/her first choice college, be admitted to that school, but then opt to not attend any college.

Pretty bizarre.
 
No, you didn't say that Vassar is accepting them. But in order for your argument to be true, Vassar would have to accept them, because your argument is that Vassar's offer of admission is irrevocable on the grounds that early decision acceptances are binding at the moment of issue.

My argument doesn't suggest a student would apply early decision and elect not to go to college at all; it suggests that it can happen. And for it to be a possibility, there must not be an enforceable contract (the only enforceability is that the student can't enroll somewhere else -- it is an option for the student to enroll at the early decision school). Thus, as I've said before, the admission offer isn't accepted simply because the offer exists. The offer was rescinded before it was accepted, so there is no legal wrongdoing.

Whether people like what Vassar did is irrelevant; it wasn't illegal, and you won't win a lawsuit over it. To bring in the law is inherently making this a discussion of legal issues, and legal theory is very clear that no contract exists.
 
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