POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- During the first half-hour a special website for Vassar College early decision applicants was live this past Friday, January 27, a computing error caused mistaken information to be posted on the site about the admissions status of a number of these applicants. Before the error was corrected approximately 30 minutes later, 122 applicants logged onto the site. Of those, 46 read a correct letter from Vassar stating that they had been offered admission to the college. The 76 other applicants read a mistaken letter stating they had been accepted for admission, when in fact they had not been admitted to the college. A little more than two hours after Vassar corrected the error, the college had determined who all of the affected applicants were and apologized to them via email for the error.
“We are terribly sorry about the confusion and disappointment the erroneous information posted online caused the students," said president Catharine Hill. "Our admissions process is a careful deliberation over several months, so it is so unfortunate to have this communication error happen at the end of that process for some of our early decision candidates. We understand how very upsetting this is for those students who viewed the inaccurate decisions that we posted online, and we are very sorry to have added to the overall stress of the college admissions process for these students and their families,” said Hill.
While there were 254 total applicants in this early decision group, only a portion of them -- 122 applicants -- logged onto the special Vassar admissions website during the half-hour it posted the inaccurate information.
The college’s early decision application program is intended for freshmen candidates who have decided that Vassar is a clear first choice. Early decision applicants are making a binding commitment to attend Vassar if they are offered admission, and they can only have one early decision application to one college pending at one time.
Vassar offers two opportunities for early decision application during its annual admissions process. The applicants affected by the January 27th computer error had met a January 1st deadline. An initial group of early decision applicants met a November 15, 2011 deadline and were notified of their admission status the following month.
Regular decision applicants to Vassar College represent the vast majority seeking freshmen enrollment. They also meet a January 1st application deadline, and are notified of their admissions status in late March. Vassar received an overall total of 7985 applications for this past fall’s freshmen class of 671 students.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.