Students sunbathe on the steps of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library next to Daniel Chester French's sculpture, Alma Mater, April 29, 2015 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Students sunbathe on the steps of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library next to the Alma Mater in New York on April 29, 2015. Mark Lennihan—AP

Columbia University Apologizes After Accidentally Accepting a Few Hundred Students

Feb 17, 2017

It's been a rough week for the 277 prospective Columbia University students who thought they had been accepted at the Manhattan Ivy League institution—only to discover it was all a mistake. The admissions office had erroneously sent out the acceptances, and then revoked them in a follow-up email a little more than an hour later, leaving some pretty heartbroken students in their wake as the New York Times reports. The college in question was the School of Public Health's Masters program.

"We deeply apologize for this miscommunication," the second email read. “We value the energy and enthusiasm that our applicants bring to the admissions process, and regret the stress and confusion caused by this mistake.”

This is just the latest mishap in a long line of accidental acceptances, which have become something of a time-honored tradition at colleges across the country. Columbia joins the likes of Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, UC Davis, Johns Hopkins, and more over the last few decades who have gotten kids' hopes up only to ultimately dash their dreams. In 2009, UC San Diego mistakenly emailed a whopping 28,000 prospective students with good news that they'd been admitted.

That good news, of course, was actually fake news.

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