Early admission at Vassar is binding, meaning that if the student gains admission, he or she must attend Vassar and withdraw applications at other schools. This binding contract is leaving some of the rejected students (and their parents) to argue that Vassar must admit the students due to the binding nature of early admission. A nice try, yes, but I don’t think that argument holds up.
Vassar made a mistake—a mistake that left 76 high-school seniors very disappointed. But, the school remedied the mistake within hours. It’s not as if the students spent weeks planning their life at Vassar, only then to be told they weren’t admitted. The school is entirely to blame for this mistake, and its offer to reimburse the students’ $65 application fee doesn’t take the sting away. Vassar also offered to reach out to other schools if the students happened to withdraw their applications during that short time frame in which they thought they were going to Vassar. Frankly, it’s the least the school could do.
However, the mistake doesn’t mean that rejected students should be admitted. There are hundreds of other applicants for regular admissions still waiting to hear back from Vassar. Giving the rejected students a spot due to a clerical error means some deserving students who applied for regular admissions won’t get in. That situation is equally unfair. Vassar can’t really win here, but it has to help the rejected students as best it can and move on. It’s the best situation for both parties.