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Harvard email saying student is ‘terminated’ is fake

August 13, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Harvard College sent an email that revoked an admitted student’s acceptance due to the student’s social media posts.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The email isn’t authentic, a spokesperson for Harvard University confirmed to The Associated Press.

THE FACTS: The bogus email, which was addressed to “student,” regarding their “admission status,” states: “It is with a heavy heart we inform you that you are being terminated from Harvard. This comes as a result of speculating your social media accounts and we believe that you do not transmit a good representation of the school.”

The email, which was made to look like it was sent by Harvard College’s Office of Undergraduate Education, does not detail what the so-called student wrote or posted that violated the school’s policies, and contains some strange vocabulary choices. A Twitter user who shared a screenshot of the false email on Aug. 10 wrote, “i feel sick to my stomach.” That tweet was liked more than 17,000 times.

But the college’s Office of Undergraduate Education does not admit students to Harvard College nor does the office withdraw admissions, according to Rachel Dane, a Harvard spokesperson.

“This is in fact, a hoax,” Dane said to the AP in an email.

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid corresponds with incoming students who haven’t matriculated to campus yet, according to Dane. After students enroll, there are various offices under the college that are responsible for disciplinary action if a student violates Harvard College’s policies.

“Whoever wrote this fake post didn’t do their due diligence in figuring out which office does what,” Dane said.

This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.