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A Texas College Rejects Nigerians Over Ebola Concerns

Hazmat workers at the location of the second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas on Oct. 13
Hazmat workers at the location of the second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas on Oct. 13Photograph by Mike Stone/Getty Images

A community college in Texas offered an unusual justification for rejecting an applicant from Nigeria. “Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases,” reads a letter by the school’s director of international programs that was posted on Twitter earlier this week. “Although you may be disappointed, my personal wish is that you find fulfillment studying at another fine college.”

The odd case erupted into public view on Sunday when Idris Ayodeji Bello, a Nigerian-American living in Texas, posted an image on Twitter of a rejection letter he said had been sent to two applicants from Nigeria. Navarro College did not specify on Wednesday whether it had sent rejection letters citing an admissions policy related to Ebola. An e-mail from Dewayne Gragg, vice president of access and accountability at the school, addressed the situation in general terms. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “some students received incorrect information regarding their applications to the institutions.” The statement apologized “for any misinformation” and emphasized a focus this year on recruiting students from China and Indonesia.