Oops! UC San Diego Mistakenly Sends Acceptance E-mails to Thousands

By Virginia Breen

Apr 2, 2009 1:25pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Cate Smithson blogs:

When things aren’t going your way, it’s important to remember that someone somewhere is doing a little bit worse than you are. So what if there isn’t a job market for entry-level college graduates? You’ll still be the proud recipient of an undergraduate diploma, which is more than what 28,000 University of California at San Diego applicants may be able to say.

With one fateful click of the mouse (the person responsible for this is having a harder day than you, too) the college mistakenly sent acceptance e-mails to more than 46,000 candidates Monday instead of the 18,000 the university had actually accepted. That left 28,000 high school seniors with an inbox full of fleeting happiness and self-worth.

“We’re thrilled that you’ve been admitted to UC San Diego, and we’re showcasing our beautiful campus on admit day,” the e-mail began. The school posted admissions decisions on its Web site weeks ago, but denial overrode confusion in the minds of thousands of kids who read the letter and began to celebrate the first day of the rest of their lives, or whatever.

It wasn’t until later Monday night that UC San Diego e-mailed its retraction. If there were a word that described that sound people make by sucking air through clenched teeth when something mildly funny goes wrong, it would probably be in that e-mail somewhere.

UC San Diego’s admissions mistake was a whopper, but schools such as Cornell and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have made similar blunders in the past five years, the Los Angeles Times reported. It may be too soon to really appreciate the irony, but this type of real-life adversity is the stuff of college application essay dreams. There’s always next year!

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