Victim Of Vassar College Admissions Snafu Tells Tale Of Disappointment To CBS 2

Dylan Leggio Went From Sky High To Depths Of Despair In A Couple Of Minutes

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A dream denied.

On Monday, a heartbroken high school student who thought he was accepted to prestigious Vassar College spoke out about what it was like learning there was a mistake.

Dylan Leggio of Katonah, N.Y., thought he’d made it.

“I was just extremely happy that, first, I got into a top-class school like Vassar, and also that my college process was over, like I didn’t have to worry about waiting until April, or anything like that,” the 17-year-old said.

He said he pictured himself attending classes on the famous 150-year-old campus, but last Friday his joy suddenly turned to disappointment.

“My mom wanted the acceptance letter so I printed it for her, but when I printed it out I realized that it was actually a decline,” Leggio said, adding that the letter was changed during that time.

The college president apologized immediately on the school website, saying “we put 76 applicants in a terrible position.”

“Before we post any decision letters on the website that students can log into to find out their decisions we check them very carefully to make sure the wording is correct,” Dean of Admissions David Borus said.

But this time the test messages were made public. Vassar receives 8,000 applications yearly for a freshman class of only 600.

“This was a mistake. It was a big one,” Borus said. “But it was simply that, a mistake.”

Vassar has about 2,500 students, so many people are asking if this was the college’s fault, why can’t they just admit the additional 76?

“If we accepted those students now we would have to say no and deny students in the regular decision process,” Borus said.

As for Leggio, he said he’s got his fingers crossed now for some other schools.

“I’m leaning toward schools near Boston because I know I will have an awesome experience there, such as Boston College and Boston University,” Leggio said.

Vassar said it is reimbursing the students’ application fees.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • VMS

    Under contract law, this is what is known as a unilateral mistake. But since it was a mistake in the offer and the offer was revoked before the student accepted it or detrimentally relied on it (by for example withdrawing applications from other schools), everything reverts to the status quo. ante. The school probably breached their application process agreement, so refunding the application fee was probably in order.

  • Not from the USA

    I tried to check Vassar on the world rankings. It doesn’t appear.

    • Bill

      According to US News and World Reports, “Vassar College’s ranking in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 14”. So yes, it is one of the top schools in the US.

      • Not from the USA

        Ok, thanks. I’ve compared methodologies of the two, and the difference will be that world rankings also include research in their scoring (about 30%). I don’t think Vassar does research, does it?

  • Professor McGonigle

    So now they’re victims? The people getting slaughtered in Africa are victims. People caught in tsunamis and earthquakes are victims. We’re talking about college admissions here and an unfortunate glitch. Mistakes happen.. Yes, it is very disappointing. There are lots of disappointing and unfair things that happen in life. There are many other options to Vassar. They should get their admissions fees refunded and move on!

    • Vassar stinks

      If you’re a really a professor, your rhetorical comparison is lame. Yes, it was an unfortunate mistake. Since you are the first to coin the students as victims, yes I would agree with you that they are.

      • Professor McGonigle

        The Yahoo headline used the term “victims,” not I. My rhetoric is intake. I feel for the students; it is a very unfortunate error, not a tragedy. Your hyperbole is lame and baseless.

  • Steven, Fairfield CT

    Things happen, and this was all done online – letters had not been sent out physically to each applicant. Vassar is a small school, with only 600 students accepted per annum out of 8,000 applicants. There is probably not room to accept an extra 76 students. Whilst I feel sorry for those who thought they were accepted to what is a very fine school (and let’s face it, a damn expensive one at that with fees above $53,000!), mistakes sometimes do happen. I give credit to the President for putting her hand up quickly and saying “we goofed.” If only some of the traders on Wall Street did the same instead of piling up huge trading losses that they then cover up fraudulently. Should it cost the President or Dean their jobs? No. But I would think a $250 per student payout towards books at whatever school they attend wouldn’t do much harm, either.

  • Idiotic Borus Vassar

    What a joke of a president! Vassar made a mockery of the admission process. Was it that difficult to let 76 paying students into your school. Not all 76 will probably attend anyway. I think its fair to say Vassar sucks and there are so many college choices out there. Move on kids.

    • Bill

      Actually, since this was Early Decision, the admission would have been binding on the students. If they took these 76, then it would either mean 76 less accepted in the normal cycle or an overcrowding problem in dorms and classes in the fall. And I am sure that a fair number of them were not academically qualified to attend. if they lowered their standards to let these kids in, it could have affected the academics for other kids who were admitted and ended up in their classes. It’s not the first time it has happened, other schools have done it as well. It’s unfortunate but in the end I’m sure they will get over it.

  • George

    It is outrageous that Vassar made a mistake and then reneged on these acceptane letters. You MUST accept these students-otherwide noone will apply to your school nex year!! Vassar must do the right thing. As a parent of a senior-it is heartbreaking to receive this news. My son did not appply to Vassar so I have no direct benefit-my heart goes out to the parents who worked so hard during this process.

  • pendulumswings

    I love the comment by the Dean of Admissions that if he let the 76 students accidentally accepted then he would have to let 76 less students in regular admission. NOT IF THEY ADDED 76 students IN TOTAL. A freshman class with 76 extra students would be so hard. Instead they have made a mockery of their admissions process. Hope next year’s high school seniors keep that in mind.

  • gene


    • rugbyball

      If the school was owed money by the kids and accidentally sent a letter to them saying they owed nothing, they would send a new letter to correct that error and expect payment. They wouldn’t just wave the money owed.

  • Dr Don

    Oooooooooooooooooops! A Perry moment it is!

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