Imagine you applied to this prestigious school, and thought you maybe had a chance, and then a miracle happens – you got accepted! Except hours later, you get another email from the university stating that they accepted you by mistake. Ouch.
That’s what happened to 277 students who applied to Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health for their Master’s Program last year. On February 15th 2017, the applicants got their acceptance emails; 75 minutes later, a follow-up email stated that their acceptance email was sent in error.
Since admissions counselors transitioned to notifying applicants by email, there has been a long list of similar mistakes from other top universities. Here’s a tally from some of the most sought-after schools:
2015: Carnegie Mellon University – 800 applicants
2014: Johns Hopkins University – 300 applicants
2012: UCLA – 900 applicants
2009: University of California, San Diego – a whopping 28,000 applicants
Mostly the mistakes have been attributed to human error, despite the fact that some of these schools are known for their tech prowess in terms of education. Even MIT sent out wrong emails because they got their email addresses mixed up – nobody knows the exact number of applicants affected, but in 2014 they rejected 1,403 people for their class of 2018.
“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand how they can get away with it and just say ‘sorry,’” one applicant told the New York Times. Obviously, there’s no real way to justify that d*ck move.
“I would love to say that what happened at MIT is unusual, but it’s not,” said Joyce Smith, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. While colleges once glued the wrong address sticker on an acceptance envelope, now they send out erroneous e-mails.
Lesson of the day: if you do get an acceptance email from the university of your choice, you may want to hold off on your celebration party.