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MIT apologizes after flubbing acceptance emails

MIT Apologizes For Flubbing Acceptance Emails

Congratulations, you've been admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Except actually you haven't. Those were the messages coming from MIT after e-mails alluding to admission were sent to the wrong group of prospective students last week.

According to WBZ-TV, the trouble started Feb. 5, after MIT's Admissions Counselor for Web Communications Chris Peterson attempted to send an e-mail to admitted students about financial aid.

Peterson explained on MIT's admissions blog that the e-mail went out to prospective students with a footer message that read, "You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT! [Celebrating smiley face]," instead of the standard greeting, "You are receiving this email because you applied to MIT and we sometimes have to tell you things about stuff."

He said he didn't realize a mistake had been made until a few posts started showing up on College Confidential, an online forum where users share information on schools.

Peterson said he wasn't sure of exactly how many not-admitted students got the e-mail, but guessed it was a small number that even noticed the flub. Still, it's MIT and the admissions e-mail blunder has been a recurring one over the past few years.

In December, The New York Times reported that Fordham College accidentally sent premature admission e-mails to 2,500 students. A spokesman said 500 of those students had been rejected and the other 2,000 had been deferred. Ouch.

UCLA had to issue a mea culpa in April of 2012 after sending financial aid e-mails to nearly 900 wait-list applicants with the message, "Once again, congratulations on your admission to UCLA."

Vassar College might've had the least amount of collateral damage in Jan. of 2012 after acceptance letters made it to the inboxes of 122 applicants. Forty-six of those applicants had actually been accepted.

Joyce Smith, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, told USA Today it happens.

But what makes MIT's situation different is that it's basically impossible to "absorb" the applicants accidentally accepted. "If they're looking for 1,500 only, they can't take 4,000."

MIT lists on its website that there were nearly 19,000 applicants for the class of 2017. The school accepted just over 1,500 or 8.2%.

The MIT applicants who did pass muster for this year will get their final notifications in March.

Join the discussion

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slvs2hike February 12 2014 at 10:07 PM

Hey--its MIT. Great math--English/communications--not so much. LOL It happens.

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1 reply
BARRY AND KATHY slvs2hike February 12 2014 at 10:53 PM

DAMNIT! You stole my post.

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srmr0319 February 13 2014 at 6:58 AM

So here are these tech geniuses and they can't even avoid a mistake like this? The problem is that customer services has become an oxymoron. Saving money on any kind of costs is the priority and no one cares about the so-called collateral damage these incidents cost. Even if only a small number noticed the error it is still the MIT .

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Hello Dear!! February 13 2014 at 8:42 AM

Well===those students deserve to be admitted even on a trial basis==if they have decent grades the first semester they get to stay. See? That was easy!....and fair.

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1 reply
Rich Hello Dear!! February 13 2014 at 9:23 AM

that is llike getting 2 dozen eggs in a 1 dozen box.............does not take a MIT prospect to figure that one o ut...............

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Pat February 13 2014 at 9:26 AM

Tacky and careless. I would have thought MIT had more brains and class than that.

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elmwoodfarmecs February 13 2014 at 8:38 AM

Good reason to use real mail for important events. God knows these schools are over priced for what they really offer other than brand name recognition

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ascha79846 February 12 2014 at 11:02 PM

Ivy League institutions have a unique admissions policy that first accepts legacy students whose alumni parents give like mad. That is how you wind up with inarticulate baffoons like GW Bush.

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1 reply
Rodney ascha79846 February 12 2014 at 11:30 PM

Here, here! How dare you insult the baboons.... opps, sorry, buffoons.

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KATHI AND JOHN February 13 2014 at 10:16 AM

DEMS were overjoyed .thinking it was another story about the other Mitt....sorry guys

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lynnbrown45 February 13 2014 at 7:13 AM

Pretty damn sad when MIT can't get it right !!

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Lydia February 13 2014 at 8:39 AM

You guys should correct your own mistakes when reporting, there's a difference between a college and a university. Fordham is not a college, it's a university!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
sgtpepper5612 February 12 2014 at 11:58 PM

Lets see, the Institute of TECHNOLOGY, screws up while using basic Technology, that most 1st graders can handle. Are you sure you want to be educated there?

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