Welcome To College – Nevermind: Carnegie Mellon Mistakenly Sends Acceptance Letters To 800 Rejected Applicants

More than 800 rejected college applicants got their hopes up by Carnegie Mellon University after receiving acceptance letters. The problem is that the computer science applicants received the acceptance letters due to a computer mistake.

Boing Boing reported that a first email went out to the applicants and let them know that they were one of the select few getting into the program.

“You are one of the select few, less than 9 percent of the more than 1,200 applicants, that we are inviting,” read the first email. “Welcome to Carnegie Mellon!”

Unfortunately for those happy applicants, the thrill was short-lived. Carnegie Mellon spokesman Kenneth Walter said that the emails sent out were the result of some “serious mistakes” in the the way that acceptance letters were generated by the university.

“We understand the disappointment created by this mistake, and deeply apologize to the applicants for this miscommunication,” Walters said.

The prestigious university in Pittsburgh had a few hours go by in between the false acceptance letter and then the apology email. WPXI reported that one applicant got his “acceptance” email and went out to dinner to celebrate with his family.

It wasn’t until after he got back home that he saw the other email telling him his acceptance was a mistake.

In all actuality, it was seven hours that passed until the college brought forward to admitting their mistake. Gawker first noticed the mistake and actually got copies of both the false acceptance letter and the second rejection letter.

The second email was actually titled “CORRECTION OF PRIOR EMAIL / REVOCATION OF OFFER OF ADMISSION TO MS IN CS PROGRAM.” That’s as disheartening as anything one may be able to imagine after thinking you were accepted into college.

Carnegie Mellon even asked those getting to the second email to “please acknowledge receipt of this retraction.”


One tipster even told Gawker that it was just incredibly bad for the mistake to happen in the first place, let alone taking too long to realize it.

“…it is beyond imagination that the top Computer Science program in the United States, sent computer-generated communication errors.”

As of now, the exact number of applicants that were affected by Carnegie Mellon’s computer error is not known.

Carnegie Mellon University has taken full responsibility for their erroneously sent acceptance letters and having to send out the retraction emails as well. That doesn’t offer up much to those who got excited and got their hopes up, though.

[Image via Boing Boing]