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"PictureYouth"/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

Johns Hopkins adds insult to injury with email to rejected applicants

College applicants can't trust their emails anymore.


Rae Votta

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 17, 2014   Updated on May 29, 2021, 11:12 pm CDT

Just days after hundreds of students had been told no by Johns Hopkins University’s admissions department, they received follow-up emails welcoming them to the class of 2019. Unfortunately, their admissions status had not been re-evaluated; the second emails were sent in error.

While applicants now don’t have to wait for thick or thin envelops to determine their collegiate fate, digital systems for alerting accepted and rejected applicants can sometimes fail through human or technical error that ends in educational heartbreak.

On Friday, students who had applied to early admission to the university were told their status electronically. Then, on Sunday, 293 denied students received an email with the subject line, “Embrace the YES!” that discussed welcoming them to campus and encouraging them to tweet their excitement with the hashtag #JHU2019. The university quickly realized its error, which it attributed to a contracted company that used the incorrect email list for a blast.

Johns Hopkins apologized, also by email, to the affected students. 

“The decision posted on the decision site reflects the accurate result of your Early Decision application,” read the follow-up. “We regret this technical mistake and any confusion it may have caused.”

This is far from the first time a school has mistakenly offered acceptance to rejected applicants. Last year 2,500 Fordham applicants were told they were accepted by way of a third-party financial aid letter two days before official decisions were released. More glaringly, in 2009 UC San Diego sent an acceptance email and invite to a campus tour to all 46,000 applicants, instead of just the 18,000 actually admitted to the university. 

H/T Washington Post| Photo via PictureYouth/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed 

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*First Published: Dec 17, 2014, 8:20 pm CST