Do our nation’s elite colleges on occasion rescind offers of admission? Absolutely. If a student’s grades drop drastically subsequent to their admission, that student could very well receive notice that their offer of admission has been revoked. If a student faces disciplinary action by their school (or arrest), that student could very well receive notice that their offer of admission has been revoked. And if a student posts racist, homophobic, or other hate language on their social media, that student could very well receive notice that their offer of admission has been revoked.
Racist Language Can and Should Lead to the Revocation of Admission
In fact, as Dan Levin reports for The New York Times in a piece entitled “Colleges Rescinding Admissions Offers as Racist Social Media Posts Emerge,” “Amid a national accounting over entrenched and systemic racism after Mr. Floyd’s death in police custody on Memorial Day, at least a dozen schools have rescinded admissions offers to incoming students over instances of racism that circulated widely online, often after outraged students and university alumni demanded swift action.” As an example, a Cornell University football recruit who was admitted to Cornell will no longer be attending Cornell after a Snapchat video in which he used a racial slur went viral. While it’s unclear if the student’s admission was revoked, athletic recruits tend to be admitted in the Early Decision round. If this student will no longer be attending Cornell, one could guess that his admission has been revoked — particularly since the university commented on the video. As Levin reports, “The video ‘did not reflect the University’s values or its commitment to a thriving and inclusive community,’ according to a statement the university posted on Twitter, which said the student’s actions violated admissions standards.”
All Offers of Admission Are Conditional
It’s not as though this is the first time that the revocation of students’ offers of admission to elite universities has made headlines. Loyal readers of our college admissions blog may remember when Harvard — in back-to-back years — chose to revoke students’ cases for admission and the school’s decisions drew media attention. And for every revocation of an offer of admission that makes headlines, just remember that there are many more that don’t end up in The New York Times. So let this be a warning to all students: don’t be foolish. And, whether your offer of admission to college is on the line or not, don’t be racist! Do remember that all of your offers of admission are conditional. It’s in the fine print in clear and plain language. If you’re not sure it’s there, read that offer again. It’s there!
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