College Admissions Blunders

on February 23, 2017

When you learn that you got into your first-choice college, wait a day before celebrating. The admissions notification could be an error, especially if the notification doesn’t come on the college’s official notification date.

 

Previously, it was easy to tell whether you really got in or not. If you got in, a fat envelope would arrive in the mail with the acceptance letter and a bunch of materials. If you were rejected, a thin envelope would arrive. The worst crisis for anxious teenagers would occur when a college sent the acceptance letter separately, in a thin envelope.

 

But, today it is so easy for a college to incorrectly tell students they got in with the accidental push of a button. Almost every year, one or more colleges mess up, raising and dashing the hopes of hundreds of prospective students.

 

This table lists some of the admissions notification errors over the last decade.
 

College Name

Year of Error

Number of Affected Students

Columbia University

2017

277

Carnegie Mellon University

2016

800

SUNY at Buffalo

2016

5,109

Tulane University

2016

130

Kean University

2015

3,000

St. Andrews University

2015

760

Goucher College

2014

60

Johns Hopkins University

2014

294

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

2014

16,938

Fordham University

2013

2,500

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

2012

894

University of Ulster

2012

370

Vassar College

2012

122

Christopher Newport University

2011

2,000

University of Delaware

2011

68

George Washington University

2010

200

Middlesex University

2010

2,500

Pennsylvania State University

2010

700

Vanderbilt University

2010

56

Cornell University

2009

25

New York University (NYU)

2009

489

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

2009

28,000

Northwestern University

2008

50

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2007

2,700

University of California, Berkeley

2006

7,000

University of Georgia

2006

100

Cornell University

2003

1,700

Duke University

2003

Dozens

University of California, Davis

2003

6,500

University of California, Davis

2002

105

Cornell University

1995

44

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