George Washington University: Our Bad

Oops! University mistakenly sends rejected students an acceptance e-mail

By Teneille Gibson
|  Thursday, Feb 18, 2010  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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George Washington University: Our Bad

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George Washington University wrongly 'admits' rejected applicants.

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Imagine this. You apply early-decision admission to your No. 1 choice for college. If you’re accepted, you agree to withdraw your other college applications. But that’s OK, because this is your DREAM SCHOOL.

What do you know? Your dream school sends you a “Congratulations” e-mail, telling you that you’re accepted.  It's party time!

But hours later…

This dream school sends an apology e-mail -- a nevermind! Apparently, the acceptance e-mail was a mistake.

What a nightmare! But this was reality for about 200 students who applied to George Washington University.

The University blames the mix-up on clerical error and the blizzard, the university newspaper, The GW Hatchet first reported.

"In the normal procedure, after the early decision is made we send an e-mail out and then we follow up with an official package of acceptance. In this situation, the snow really slowed up the delivery of the acceptance packets," Chernak said. "So Kathy [Napper] felt that it would be a good idea to send an e-mail to those people who were accepted, that was the theory, for Early Decision II. As those instructions went down the chain of command in the admissions office to the operational level, the individual who sent out the e-mail... touched the wrong button on the list."

There have been acceptance e-mail gaffes at other universities. Last spring, the University of California at San Diego mistakenly congratulated almost 29,000 applicants. Last year, New York University fooled 489 students on April’s Fools Day.

But experts say mistakes can happen with paper acceptances as well.

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