Congratulations! You Haven’t Gotten In Yet

By: Devin Fussa

The college application process is a tumultuous time. Certainly, there is a great deal of stress placed on high school seniors across the nation. For a few select students, however, the process just got event more nerve-wracking.

Last week, Columbia University in New York released 277 acceptance emails to prospective students. Each of these students had applied to the University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Within nearly an hour, the acceptance emails were retracted. These students’ applications were still under review. According to Columbia, this accident was the result of human error (CNN). “We deeply apologize for this miscommunication,” Vice Dean of Education Julie Kornfeld said in a statement. “We value the energy and enthusiasm that our applicants bring to the admissions process, and regret the stress and confusion caused by this mistake.”

Similar accidents have occurred in recent times. Columbia joins a surprisingly long list of colleges who accidentally accepted large groups of students, soon waiving their acceptances. Just this year, The State University of New York-Buffalo sent over 5,000 acceptance letters to prospective students; their decisions had not yet been made. Tulane, as well, made a similar blunder regarding 130 prospective students. These schools join the like of John Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, and Fordham in these mistakes, among others. All of these incidents have occurred within the last five years, each involving hundreds of prospective students (Time).

It is difficult not to feel sympathy for the affected students. Their joys of admission were instantly struck down by feelings of confusion and disappointment. On a more positive note, all other high school seniors can feel fortunate to have not experienced this gaffe. Hopefully, the 277 students at Columbia University are eventually accepted, and this unfortunate incident never repeats itself. As history demonstrates, however, it probably will.