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Texas College Turns Down African Students Over Ebola

Navarro College sends rejection letters saying just that to 2 Nigerians
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 10:25 AM CDT
Texas College Turns Down African Students Over Ebola
This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope.   (AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine)

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but a two-year community college 58 miles outside of Dallas may today be disagreeing with that phrase. Navarro College is making headlines after it was yesterday revealed that the school is reportedly turning away applicants who hail from Ebola-stricken countries. CNBC spoke with Kamorudeen Abidogun, a Texas resident who had five relatives from his native Nigeria apply to the school and use his home address for mailing purposes. "I received, last weekend, two rejection letters," explains Abidogun, "saying the reason why they were not giving admission was ... Ebola." CNBC posted an image of one of the letters, which is signed by the college's international programs director, Elizabeth Pillans.

The standout paragraph: "With sincere regret, I must report that Navarro College is not able to offer you acceptance for the Spring 2015 term. Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases." Insider Higher Ed reports Navarro College responded with this statement: "This fall we have almost 100 students from Africa. Unfortunately, some students received incorrect information regarding their applications. ... The college restructured the international department to include focused recruitment from certain countries each year. Our focus for 2014-15 is on China and Indonesia. We apologize for any misinformation that may have been shared." CNBC asked the school's VP for Access and Accountability if an Ebola-rejection policy had been in place; he replied that the statement "speaks for the college." (Read more Ebola stories.)

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