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Ryan Johnson, Published March 05 2013

In, out, back in again: MSUM reoffers admission to 232 students with rescinded acceptance

MOORHEAD – The 232 applicants to Minnesota State University Moorhead who recently were told their acceptance had been rescinded now will be offered admission for the 2013 fall semester.

University spokesman David Wahlberg said officials came to the decision after further review, including conversations with several of the prospective students who had received letters saying they were admitted when they hadn’t met the school’s admissions requirements.

The mistake was caught last week, he said, and letters were sent out informing them their acceptance was being rescinded.

But he said Tuesday’s decision means they will be granted admission.

“We made a mistake,” he said. “We need to own up to that mistake. We need to take responsibility for it and find a way to try and make this situation better for those individual students.”

Wahlberg said the acceptance comes with some conditions. These students will need to work with faculty mentors or advisers and they’ll have to participate in an “academic success plan,” a contract of sorts that outlines the courses they’re going to take in their first semesters.

The freshmen also will need to take a skills development course, which is a requirement for any other student accepted to MSUM who doesn’t meet the general admission requirements.

Wahlberg said this is meant to provide “additional resources” to the students to help them do well in college.

“We want to make sure that they have the tools that they need to be successful here,” he said.

Wahlberg said MSUM applicants can be accepted in two ways. The most common is automatic admission, open to students with an ACT score of 21 or higher or those who rank in the top half of their high school class and score at least a 17 on the ACT.

Prospective students who don’t meet those benchmarks still can be accepted by a committee after an individual review process that considers reasons why a student may have a lower-than-required GPA or ACT score but still be ready for college.

Wahlberg said the 232 applicants originally received letters saying their files had gone through the individual review process and they were accepted, even though they didn’t meet automatic admissions requirements and hadn’t gone through the review. That issue was caught last week, he said, and letters were sent out rescinding the acceptance.

He said officials still are trying to figure out what caused this mistake, and the affected applicants now are being contacted to discuss their options for enrollment.

“We just need a little more time to figure out the exact sequence of events here,” Wahlberg said. “This is very much a situation that’s unfolding even as we speak, so I don’t think today I can answer a question about why that letter was sent saying that their file had been individually reviewed. We’re still trying to figure that out.”


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Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587