Columbia University Apologizes After Massive Acceptance Email MishapBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Columbia University has apologized after acceptance notices were mistakenly sent to over 200 prospective students. The institution has since recalled the emails.
The Associated Press reported, via CBS Local News, that the emails were sent last Wednesday and mistakenly implied to applicants that they got into the master's program of Columbia University's School of Public Health. The incorrect email was sent to 277 prospective students.
Columbia University has said that it will make sure to strengthen its procedures after the mishap. On Friday, it stated that it had immediately found out about the mistake and sent follow-ups within an hour.
Speaking to The New York Times, an applicant shared her experience after receiving the first email from the university. She recalled that she began to cry and that her whole body shook.
However, the elation was destined to only last for about 75 minutes since a second email arrived in her inbox. This time, it informed her along with the other 276 prospective students that the acceptance notices were sent in error.
After reading the second email, the applicant had the same reaction as before but for entirely different reasons. She added that she called Columbia University's admissions office but the person who answered the call only apologized but could not provide an explanation for the mishap.
She described the whole ordeal as ridiculous. She also expressed her bafflement as to how the school can just say sorry and expect to get away with it.
The publication noted that the second email revealed that the mistake was due to "human error." It did not elaborate nor provide more details, though.
The follow-up email was signed by Julie Kornfeld, vice dean for education. It stated that the university is improving its internal procedures to make sure that the same incident will not happen again.
This is not the first time that this has happened to universities and colleges across the nation. Columbia University is the latest institution that joins Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, UC Davis and Johns Hopkins, among others, in accidentally sending out acceptance notices.