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Form 6 Student Sues School For Botching Recommendation Letters To Top US Universities

Form 6 Student Sues School For Botching Recommendation Letters To Top US Universities

The student claimed the poorly made letters of recommendation led to rejections from American universities including the Ivy Leagues, and thus, affecting his career prospects.

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A Form 6 student has filed a suit against an international boarding school in Negeri Sembilan for allegedly mishandling his letters of recommendation, resulting in 15 top universities in the United States rejecting his application.

The 21-year-old and his parents filed the writ of summons at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 3 January against the school and four other defendants, namely the school principal, a school counsellor, the Head of Sixth Form, and a company that oversees the school operation.

The student, a resident of Taman Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur, claimed the bungled letters of recommendation have resulted in rejections from some universities, including the Ivy Leagues, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, last March.

The student claimed he lost his chance at attending one of the top universities in the United States such as Harvard due to the improperly-made letters of recommendation. Image: TRP File.

Based on the documents spotted by Malaysiakini, the student claimed that the defendants failed to ensure the recommendation letters were signed by teachers who had personal interactions with him during his studies at the boarding school.

The student argued that this goes against the requirements of multiple US universities that mandate qualified individuals and legal employees to sign off the recommendation letters.

In addition, the student claimed the school allowed the unethical practice of copying and pasting a standardised template as content in the recommendation letters.

While he failed to get into the Ivy Leagues, he successfully secured admission to three US universities that didn’t require recommendation letters – the University of California in San Diego, Washington University, and the University of California in Davis.

Taking all of this into account, the student claimed the defendant breached the contract by not providing sufficient help during the university admission process.

The student, a top academic scorer from August 2018 to July 2020, contended that the defendant’s negligence affected his future career opportunities and potential income. The failed university applications also amounted to a loss of RM5,476.

The student and his parents also sought a mandatory injunction to compel the defendants to prepare and deliver a written statement to the US universities to explain and admit their alleged mistakes and negligence.

On 12 January, five defendants appeared in the lawsuit through their counsel from the law firm Azman Davidson & Co. Counsel Marcus Lee represents the student and his family.

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