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Admissions Policy Tightened After Wheeler Incident

By Julie M. Zauzmer, Crimson Staff Writer

In light of the indictment of former Harvard student Adam B. Wheeler, the Harvard College Office of Admissions will take new measures to verify the legitimacy of applicants’ materials.

University President Drew G. Faust told the Boston Globe that Wheeler’s alleged deceit—falsifying transcripts, SAT scores, and letters of recommendation in his transfer application to Harvard and thereby bilking the University of over $45,000 in financial aid, research grants, and prizes—has led Harvard to make changes in its admissions process to prevent future fraud.

Saying that the Wheeler case called attention to how modern technologies make it easier to doctor documents, Faust told the Globe, “We’re going to be making appropriate adjustments, which we don’t describe because they’d be easier to undermine.”

Rainjade A. Chung ’14, who has worked in the mail and file rooms of the admissions office for the past two weeks, said that she was informed of recent changes to the admissions process designed to ensure the validity of application materials.

However, Chung said she was not confident that these measures are enough to fully prevent dishonesty.

“I don’t think they check any of the stamps or dates or where it comes from. Students really handle most of the mail,” she said. “It takes a lot to validate an entire application.”

Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath ’70-’73 told The Crimson that changes to boost security are being implemented, but she refused to elaborate on those changes.

“I think every college in the country is on an annual basis reviewing its security process for ensuring the authenticity of data submitted,” McGrath said.

Wheeler, who was indicted on 20 counts in May, is currently awaiting trial in Middlesex Superior Court.

—Staff writer Julie M. Zauzmer can be reached at jzauzmer@college.harvard.edu.

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