Student Reveals That Stanford Rescinded Her College Offer Months After She Was Accepted Due To A ‘Lie’ On Her Application

She was left distraught after learning that a simple embellishment on her college application had cost her a place at Stanford.

sad teen sitting on bed with head down after reading letter Antonio Guillem | Shutterstock

A high school graduate was left distraught after her initial acceptance to a prestigious university was revoked because of a discrepancy in her application. 

In a TikTok video, a college prep content creator named Brandon recounted the story that was told to him by the unnamed teenage girl, who had sent in her initial application with a lie in it that the university caught and reprimanded her for.


Stanford rescinded her offer months after she was accepted due to a 'lie' on her application. 

"This high schooler in the state of Washington just had their offer to Stanford rescinded for lying about the hour count on their extracurricular activity section," Brandon explained. 

He pointed out that while this may be good news for students on Stanford's waitlist who may now have an opportunity to attend the school due to someone's offer being rescinded, the student who this happened to was left upset by the entire ordeal.

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She never thought this would happen, especially after receiving her initial acceptance months ago. She wanted to share her story so that other people could prevent the same thing from happening to them

Brandon insisted that stretching the truth on a college application's activity section, especially regarding how many hours and weeks were put in, isn't considered that much of a lie.

However, it's still important to make the hours look and seem realistic for the specific activity. If a student is planning on stretching the truth in the first place, which Brandon remarked is something he never advocates for, it should be done in a way that isn't so easily detected.

filling out college application online Ralf Hahn / Canva Pro


Of course, high school students should be mindful of being truthful on their college applications, but lying tends to happen quite frequently. According to a 2023 survey by Intelligent of 1,600 current 4-year college students along with those who have graduated from a 4-year school within the last five years, it was found that 61% admitted to including “untrue information” on their college applications.

Of this 61%, 40% say they included volunteer hours they hadn’t actually completed, 39% faked job experience, 38% included fake extracurriculars, 32% included false internship experience, and 30% even faked their letters of recommendation.

"Students can feel the need to compromise their own ethics in an attempt to stand out from thousands of applicants due to the pressure they feel," Blanca Villagomez, college admissions and education advisor, told Intelligent. "But honesty is always the best policy when applying to college. Exaggerating certain accomplishments, creating false narratives, and misrepresenting information of any kind can have serious consequences."

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The Stanford admissions office was able to verify the student's hour count on her activities.

For a few of her different extracurriculars, a lot of the hours that she put down on the application were looked into thoroughly by the university back at the beginning of the year when they were initially reviewing her application. However, the school didn't get an answer from the people they'd contacted back when they first inquired.

"A lot of her extracurriculars looked impressive, so it's not a surprise that Stanford still went ahead and offered her admission," Brandon continued. "But one of the activities that she had placed on her list was volunteering at a daycare for children with special needs.

teen daycare volunteer hugging kids Robert Kneschke / Canva Pro


For that specific activity, she had to put that she had been working there 12 hours a week for 32 weeks per year. When Stanford contacted the daycare, they learned that the student was only a summer volunteer and did 12 weeks a year for 4 hours at a time. Once Stanford learned about the lie, they immediately revoked her application.

The best way to avoid this kind of situation is to avoid lying or embellishing the truth on an activity section for a college application since there are easy ways for a school to verify that information, and once they verify it, then it becomes a huge mess. In a follow-up video, Brandon shared tips for students who are worried about colleges thinking they're lying about their extracurricular hour count.

"The Additional Information section is the perfect place for you to explain that," he suggested. He encouraged students to pick at least 3 activities that have a high hour count and choose to explain the specifics, including what the role was and the responsibilities that were required day in and day out. 


In the end, it's better to be truthful and know that a college has accepted you based on the merits, activities, and achievements you've garnered through 4 years of high school than lie and risk messing up your future and the exciting plans of attending college.

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