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High school student’s faux Harvard rejection letter goes viral

Teen still waiting on official word

Molly McGaan didn’t reference her proficiency in “dank memes” or her wealth of “$wagg moneyyyy” when she applied to Harvard.

But as admissions season ramped up — along with the high school senior’s anxiety level — she tried to imagine what would have happened if she had.

McGaan, who attends the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, created a faux Harvard University rejection letter that was widely circulated online this week, full of references to hip-hop mix tapes and Internet memes.

The 18-year-old, who really applied to Harvard, thought the joke was obvious enough.

The letter, which has the name of admissions dean William R. Fitzsimmons at the bottom, criticizes the approach of concluding with “McGaan out *drops mic*,” and was initially posted on the Facebook page for her school’s satirical magazine, Citizen Poke.


The letter quickly garnered more than 700 shares and hundreds of comments on Reddit and Facebook, with many believing it was authentic.

“People legitimately think it’s real, which is so bizarre to me. It’s just so insane,” she said.

McGaan’s prank starts on a serious note, mentioning Harvard’s record-high student application rate for the class of 2019, before it takes a humorous turn.

School officials said they have seen McGaan’s creation, but would not comment.

The inspiration to create the rejection notice came after she was turned down by the theater school at the University of Michigan, McGaan said, a school that was on the top of her list.

“I wanted to turn something sad into something funny,” McGaan said.

She has yet to hear back from Harvard, but hopes
that making light of the process won’t “wreck” her chances.

“I have no clue what this is going to do to my Harvard [application],” she said.

Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.