BALTIMORE ― Johns Hopkins University mistakenly sent nearly 300 applicants welcome messages when they were actually rejected or deferred, and now the school has issued an apology.
University officials told The Washington Post it was a mistake of human error. Vice Provost David Phillips said a contractor who works with Johns Hopkins on electronic communications pulled a wrong list of emails.
“We apologize to the students affected and to their families,” Phillips said. “Admissions decision days are stressful enough. We very much regret having added to the disappointment felt by a group of very capable and hardworking students.”
The students had applied early decision to the Baltimore university. Of the 294 applicants who received an erroneous message, 285 had actually been denied admission and nine had received deferrals.
Cathy Stephenson of Culpeper County, Virginia, said she is irate that her son received a mistaken admission notice after an earlier denial. The email subject line was “Embrace the YES!” and the body welcomed her son. Stephenson said university officers should do more to apologize.
“All we want is a personal phone call,” Stephenson said. “When I make a mistake, I do the right thing.”
Other colleges also have made embarrassing errors in admissions notices. In February, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent thousands of students a mistaken email about financial aid saying they were all receiving the information because they were admitted, but that was wrong.
Similar mistakes have been reported at Fordham University, Vassar College and at the University of California at San Diego, which in 2009 mistakenly sent acceptance emails to all 46,000 students who applied, including 28,000 who were rejected.