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Columbia University has accidentally sent out acceptance e-mails to aspiring students.
Over 270 Columbia University applicants received an e-mail initially stating that they have been successfully admitted to the university. However, another e-mail, which retracted the previous announcement, was sent out more than an hour later.
Julie Kornfeld, Columbia’s Vice Dean of Education, expressed her apology to the hopeful applicants who received the message by mistake. She added that the university is improving its system to avoid the same oversight in the future.
Columbia University is part of the Ivy League – a group comprised of the eight most prestigious universities in the United States, which also includes Dartmouth, Brown, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania. These universities are known for their rigorous student application and selectivity. Every year, thousands of students attempt to enter one of these schools, but only less than 10% get accepted. In 2016, Columbia University had only a 6% acceptance rate due to its high academic standards.
This is not the first time that a university has mistakenly sent an acceptance letter. Cornell University committed the same mistake twice, mistakenly sending out acceptance letters to 45 applicants in 1995 and around 550 applicants in 2003.
The school with the most number of misdelivered acceptance letters is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In 2009, the university sent out 28,000 acceptance e-mails by mistake. UCSD’s admissions director took accountability for the incident. She explained that the mistake was unintentional and was due to human error.