The Eighth Page

Dozens of PA Seniors Already Rejected From Harvard Under New “Early Rejection” Program

Dozens of Phillips Academy Seniors had their dreams of a Harvard education crushed last week, as the Harvard Undergraduate Admissions Department sent out their first wave of rejection letters under the prestigious institution’s new “Early Rejection” program. Harvard Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons, who realized the need for America’s oldest institution of higher learning to expedite the rejection process as application totals began to increase, began developing the Early Rejection (ER) program in 2004. “We receive a lot of applications,” said Fitzsimmons in a recent interview with the Newsly Times when asked about his reasons for implementing the program. “To be honest, too many. There are too many average kids who apply here just because ‘it’s Harvard,’ and they’re the ones who make our lives as admissions officers unnecessarily difficult. Our goal with the ER program was to identify these normal, unexceptional students and send them a rejection letter in September before they even think of submitting an application.” He would go on to add, “I also drink children’s tears for sustenance.” The rejection letters were sent to a whopping 16,324 prospective applicants across the world. The letters are formally dubbed “notifications of premature rejection” by Harvard admissions staff, and they were sent to students with any combination of mediocre standardized test scores, a pedestrian grade point average or limited involvement in extracurricular activities. Harvard admissions officials plan on increasing the scope of the program in the coming years by both increasing the volume of undergraduate rejections and extending the rejections to graduate level programs. According to a recent press release, Harvard anticipates rejecting roughly 40,000 potential undergraduates and as many as 5,000 prospective law and business students by 2015. “We hope to gradually expand the program year to year,” said Fitzsimmons after taking a sip of tears from a coffee mug. “It should be an arduous process in the years ahead, but eventually, we anticipate the ER program to become a real time-saver.” The ER letters found the mailboxes of 35 PA seniors last Friday, and despite the initial shock of receiving a rejection letter before an application was even submitted, few ER letter recipients were surprised that they were turned down. “To be honest, it’s expected,” said Tanya Ruggs ’10. “I knew it was a long shot, I just thought I’d get lucky, you know? I guess the one issue I have with the letter is that it’s a little harsh. It said that I had ‘been recognized as a highly average student’ and that I ‘shouldn’t even bother.’ That cuts a little deep.” Some recipients of the ER letters were more baffled. “This is incredible,” said Winston H. Winchester ’10. “My family has been attending Harvard since it was nothing but a humble Puritan institution in the 17th century. My great-great-great grandfather invented the pencil. My father has donated thousands to the alumni fund. Even his mistress went here. And this is how the great Winchester family is repaid? Ridiculous.” Winchester would ultimately blame Harvard Law graduate Barack Obama for his rejection. “It’s his Nazi socialist policies that prevent people like me from receiving a quality college education. People can’t just buy an Ivy League education anymore. Instead it’s all about ‘equal opportunities’ and only accepting the most ‘qualified’ applicants regardless of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity. I think that’s unfair.”