Carnegie Mellon Mistakenly Accepts -- Then Rejects -- 800 Grad School Students

Former Staff Writer
2 min read

The college admissions process can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster -- especially, it turns out, when you apply to Carnegie Mellon.

The Pittsburgh university revealed yesterday that it had erroneously admitted 800 students to its highly selective Master of Science in Computer Science program -- which ranks as the number one program of its kind in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Carnegie Mellon explained that the error “was the result of serious mistakes in our process for generating acceptance letters.” At the same time, it acknowledged the devastating emotional repercussions. “We understand the disappointment created by this mistake, and deeply apologize to the applicants for this miscommunication.”

However, such oversights occur more often than one might expect -- though typically at the undergraduate level, where the application process is less personal, the Associated Press reports. In December, Johns Hopkins mistakenly sent welcome letters to 300 rejected undergrads, and in 2009, the University of California sent acceptance emails to all 46,000 applicants.

Technical glitches happen. But in the realm of business, a blundered offer can be particularly tricky to recant. As Carnegie Mellon’s program only accepts 100 total applicants, however, such a gaffe proved ultimately unfeasible for the university to honor.

Related: Where Famous Tech Founders Went to College (Infographic)

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