Almost every young adult in this country over the age of 18 knows the feeling of getting accepted into college. The email or package arrives and students nervously click/open it, while in that one moment not knowing their fate. But, after that one moment is over and the acceptance decision is read, ones life can change forever. Relatives are called, a Facebook post is created, and pure happiness surrounds the student. But imagine if they did not actually get accepted.
This is exactly what occurred for 800 students last Tuesday who applied to Carnegie Mellon’s prestigious graduate computer science program – tied for the no. 1 ranking between MIT, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley, according to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent rankings.
Shortly after receiving an acceptance email from the school, some applicants received a second letter stating how the acceptance was a mistake and they were, in fact, rejected from the graduate program. The dejected students flocked to social media to express their outrage, and even created multiple threads on Reddit, a popular social networking website.
This is not the first time that a college has made this huge of a mistake. According to the Associated Press, John Hopkins University sent 300 undergraduates acceptance letters when they were, in fact, rejected from the school just last December. MIT also sent students, numbered in the thousands, an email in February in 2014 about financial aid that stated that they were receiving the email because they had been accepted. Even two California schools, UCLA and University of California- San Diego, made the mistake of sending acceptance emails out to students who had, in fact, not been accepted into the university. UCLA, according to The Huffington Post, sent out 894 emails to students about their acceptance when they had actually been waitlisted in 2012. UC San Diego sent acceptance emails in 2009 to all 46,000 students who applied, while 28,000 had been rejected.
Carnegie Mellon publicly apologized on their website, but this did not help the 800 students feel better about the situation. According to the Associated Press, a student that was interviewed by them stated,
“It was brutal. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Now I have to clean up the mess. I’m calling all my relatives, I’m going, ‘I’m sorry it’s not happening.’”