Obscene Facebook chats reportedly got 10 Harvard students’ admissions revoked — here are all the reasons a college can pull your acceptance

The joy of a Harvard University acceptance came crashing down for at least 10 prospective members of the Class of 2021, The Harvard Crimson reported.

The school rescinded acceptances to the students after administrators found public Facebook posts that were sexually explicit or made racial groups the target of jokes.

While rare, rescinded college acceptances happen every year for a few distinct reasons.

While a Harvard representative told Business Insider that the university did not “comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants,” the posts likely called into question the students’ moral character.

The university said as much in the description of the Harvard Class of 2021 Facebook page, where the students left the offensive posts.

“As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character,” the description read.

Social media posts aren’t the only reason acceptances can be revoked. Other reasons include:

• Disciplinary issues. These include school suspensions or expulsions in high school.

• School grades. Significant changes to grades can hurt admitted students. “Is a B grade going to [result] in a rescind? Highly unlikely,” Brian Taylor, director of Ivy Coach, told Business Insider. It’s important for students to try and maintain their grades, but they shouldn’t overly worry about minor fluctuations, he said.

• Conduct while on campus. Students should be aware that their conduct at admitted student weekends is also subject to scrutiny, according to Taylor, who said that issues like underage drinking at fraternity events during these weekends can cause rescinded acceptances in some cases.

• Criminal charges. Lastly, criminal charges can put your acceptance at risk. It was a scenario that also played out at Harvard when it withdrew an acceptance from Owen Labrie after he was accused of rape in 2014. He was eventually found not guilty of the main sexual-assault charge, but he was found guilty of a misdemeanor statutory rape charge, Business Insider’s Peter Jacobs reported.


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