Student Life

Harvard Rescinds Admission Offers for Inappropriate Facebook Posts

Kathryn Knight Randolph

June 07, 2017

Harvard Rescinds Admission Offers for Inappropriate Facebook Posts
It's possible to lose your admissions status -- find out how.
At Fastweb, we’ve been warning students for years that admissions officers are definitely looking at social media profiles during the application process. As it turns out, admission officers and administrators may be checking your Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat activity after they’ve offered admission as well. At least 10 students that had been admitted to Harvard University had their admission offers revoked after posting offensive memes in a Facebook group chat, according to NBC. Students started the group “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,” which included memes about the Holocaust, sexual assault and child abuse. Obviously, their actions were inappropriate and offensive at such a level that it prompted the administration to take strong action. A university spokesperson told CNN, “Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions; [for instance] if an admitted student engages or has engaged in behavior that brings into question their honesty, maturity or moral character.”
It’s not uncommon for incoming freshmen to form Facebook groups or other online relationships in order to get to know one another before school starts. However, they are generally innocent in nature. Students typically bond beforehand over shared interests as well as on-campus living locations. Roommates are very likely to touch base with one another before the school year starts to go over must-have dorm room items.
And while there is definitely a more lenient atmosphere in college versus high school, students are still at risk for having their admissions decisions withdrawn or expelled for a variety of reasons. They include:
  • Student misconduct – includes disruptive behavior, abuse of any kind, stalking, hazing, illegal drug use, underage drinking, vandalism or possession of weapons.
  • Dishonesty – characterized by lying, cheating, falsification or forgery on academic assignments or university paperwork.
  • Academic probation and dismissal – while bad grades in high school simply mean bad grades, they have bigger consequences in college. Dropping below a certain grade point average can lead to a revocation of financial aid or even permanent dismissal from the school.

The dismissal of Harvard-admitted students provides a valuable lesson: don’t take your admission into a university for granted, and don’t resort to inappropriate, offensive behavior just to relate to other students. Though these are lessons we often learn as young children, they obviously bear repeating at various stages of life.
An admissions decision is not a golden ticket; it’s a privilege. Be worthy of it – and be the kind of citizen that a university would be proud to have as an admitted student, member and graduate.

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