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At GWU: One day you're in, and the next you're out!

Jenna Johnson

A group of students who applied to George Washington University through its second round of Early Decision learned in early February that they had been rejected. But then, last Wednesday they received an e-mail exclaiming "Congratulations" and welcoming them to the Class of 2014.

Later that same day, they received a follow-up e-mail from the dean of undergraduate admissions: "This afternoon, you received an email from me titled 'Important GW Information.' Unfortunately, this email was sent to you in error. We are truly sorry for this confusion regarding your application to GW."

The GW Hatchet reported that as many as 200 applicants who had already been rejected temporarily thought they had been accepted because of the e-mail gaffe. As of Jan. 29, the university had received around 825 Early Decision II applicants, a university spokeswoman told the Hatchet.

The mistake occurred when last week's historic snowstorm slowed the delivery of Early Decision II acceptance packets to students, and the admissions office decided to e-mail everyone who was accepted. But the individual who sent out the e-mail "touched the wrong button on the list," Robert Chernak, the senior vice president for student and academic services, told the Hatchet.

The mistake devastated at least one applicant: Elana Jacobson, from West Palm Beach, Fla., told the Hatchet that she sat in the middle of the hallway and cried when she learned she hadn't really been accepted. She wishes that the admissions office had handled the glitch more personally instead of saying, "Oh, sorry it was an error," she said.

"It was confusing," she said. "I didn't know if I was in the school, rejected, accepted, or deferred."

This isn't the first time a university has mixed up its mailing lists. Last year Cornell University accidentally e-mailed 25 rejected students and congratulated them on their acceptance, and the University of California at San Diego accepted and congratulated all 46,377 students who had applied, including the 29,000 applicants who had been rejected, the Hatchet reported.

Did this happen to you? If so, I would love to talk. Shoot me an e-mail.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  February 17, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Admissions  | Tags: Cornell, George Washington, University of California, admissions  
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And this is called an institution of higher education?

Posted by: mortified469 | February 17, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Those 18-20 are also adults and not "kids" or "teens", meaning they shouldn't be called those words. George Washington University should've have sent the incorrect e-mail to the young women and young men who found out they got rejected. The snowstorm was a factor in the error.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | February 17, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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