Grant Case Sparks National Debate

Juvenile Justice, Admit Processes Questioned

When Harvard's faculty admissions committee voted to rescind its offer of admission to Gina Grant last Monday, it sparked what has become a national debate on whether the juvenile justice system can protect the anonymity of child offenders and on the degree of candor that can be expected of college applicants.

That debate now threatens to overshadow the case of Grant, the 19-year-old Cambridge Rindge and Latin School senior whose offer of early admission was canceled this week after the University received anonymous information that she had bludgeoned her mother to death in 1990.

But these facts, which have been repeated in newspapers and on television since the story broke Thursday, may not be all that lies at the root of Harvard's decision.

A source on the Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, which voted to annul the offer, indicated that Grant may have misrepresented her past in more than one area of her application.

The source said that the media has been focusing too narrowly on an application question pertaining to discipline and academic probation incurred in high school.


There are three parts to the proba- tion question used on the Common Application:whether a student has been disciplined within thelast three years; whether a student has ever beenremoved from school; and whether a student hasever voluntarily left. The Common Application wasadopted by Harvard this year to increase applicantdiversity.

Although University officials have refused tocomment specifically on Grant's case, a statementreleased by the Harvard News Office Thursday saidthe faculty standing committee had decided toreconsider an application of early admission after"new information" because available.

"The integrity of the admissions processdepends upon the accuracy and completeness of theinformation contained in the applicant's file, onwhich decisions are based," the release said.

According to the news office, an offer ofadmission could be rescinded if a student fails tograduate, shows a significant drop in performancebefore graduation, engages in behavior that bringsinto question honesty, maturity, or moralcharacter, or if any part of the applicationcontains misrepresentations.


Questions have also arisen over the procedureHarvard followed in its rare decision to rescindGrant's early offer of admission, made inDecember.

Despite repeated calls to her home yesterday,Harvard's Vice president and General CounselMargaret H. Marshall refused to comment, sayingshe had earlier been available for questions.Marshall also refused comment Friday evening.

But sources close to the applicant who spoke oncondition of anonymity have blasted Harvard formaking its decision before questioning Grant, andfor not allowing the student the chance to clearher name.

After receiving an anonymous courier deliverylate last week, the 34-member faculty standingcommittee held a special meeting Monday. A numberof members said yesterday they were unable toattend.

On Wednesday, Dean of Admissions and FinancialAid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 and Marshall metwith Grant and Professor of Law Charles J.Ogletree Jr., who is assisting Grant as anadvisor, to inform her of the faculty's decision,according to the sources close to Grant.

At the meeting, Ogletree told the officialsthat Grant had followed correct legal procedure innot disclosing her sealed juvenile records,according to the sources.

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