Colleges Not Playing by the Rules

Colleges Breaking the Rules, National Candidates Reply Date, National College Decision Day

A “New York Times” article brings to light certain colleges not playing by the rules.

There are certain colleges that aren’t playing by the rules. Good thing “The New York Times” has a storied track record of investigative journalism that brings to light a certain someone’s tax forms, possible Russian connections, and — to less fanfare — colleges encouraging students to break their binding commitments to other schools. There was a piece yesterday in “The New York Times” that caught our attention. Written by Ron Lieber and entitled “When Colleges Dangle Money to Lure Students Who Ignored Them,” the article focused on how certain universities reach out to students in most unusual ways after May 1st, the National Candidates Reply Date. If that seems fishy to you, you have reason to be scratching your head. After all, college applicants have made commitments to the universities they’re attending by May 1st. So for colleges to reach out to students whom they offered admissions to after this deadline, well, isn’t that encouraging students to break their commitments? Yes indeed.

Shame on Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Washington & Jefferson College, and Ursinus College for not honoring the binding commitments students have made to other colleges.

And these schools looking to lure students away from the colleges they committed to didn’t just reach out to say hello, they dangled money if the students chose to commit to their universities instead. As Lieber writes, “During the first week in May, [some students] received text messages or emails from schools that had accepted them but had not heard back. The messages all hinted at a particular question: Might a larger discount prompt you to come here after all? Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Washington & Jefferson College and Ursinus College, all private liberal arts schools, did this sort of outreach in recent weeks, as did Lawrence University, and perhaps others. For some students, such notes can be a dream come true if they make their first-choice college more affordable.”

We’d like to also point out to our readers that Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Ursinus College, and Lawrence University are also on the “College Openings” list published by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), an organization to which Ivy Coach is a member. Might these schools not have secured the yield they sought? It doesn’t take a degree in astrophysics to put two and two together here.

Shame on these aforementioned schools for encouraging students to break the binding commitments they’ve made to colleges. These students are married at this point and these text messages and emails from these schools that still have openings read like spurned former lovers trying to win back their affection. Not cool.

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