If Monday was April 1, this would go down as the meanest joke of all time; instead, it’s just a brutal mistake.
“Welcome to Carnegie Mellon!,” an acceptance email sent this week to hundreds of applicants to the private university read enthusiastically. “Congratulations on your acceptance into the Master of Science program in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. You are one of the select few, less than 9 percent of the more than 1,200 applicants, that we are inviting.”
Then, after approximately 7 hours of celebration time, many of those hopeful students opened their inboxes to find another email from the school’s admissions office.
“Earlier this morning, we mistakenly sent you an offer of admission to Carnegie Mellon’s M.S. in C.S. program. This was an error on our part … we regret that we are unable to offer you admission this year,” the second letter read, according to Gawker.
The erroneous acceptance email — and its dream-dashing follow-up — were sent to about 800 applicants this week, according to a statement issued from Carnegie Mellon. "This error was the result of serious mistakes in our process for generating acceptance letters. We are currently reviewing our notification process to help ensure this does not happen in the future."
In the statement, university officials also wrote they "deeply apologize" to the affected applicants.
In the wake of the incident, social media users have taken to Twitter to either lambast or sympathize with Carnegie Mellon officials.
Glad I'm not the person responsible for crushing 800 hopeful student's dreams. #carnegiemellon
— Ashley Sullivan (@KimEungEun) February 18, 2015
— Emily Mogie Morgan (@mogie242) February 18, 2015
#CarnegieMellon has a moral imperative to accommodate the 800 students they erroneously accepted into a special program. Unacceptable.
— Jessica L. Benjamin (@JLBHireCalling) February 18, 2015
but how does a university send acceptance letters BY ACCIDENT. don't play with a highly emotional, confused teen like that #carnegiemellon
— sukh (@Sukhybee) February 18, 2015
Oh, man. #CarnegieMellon admissions people, I am sending you so much sympathy right now.
— Victoria Weinstein (@peacebang) February 18, 2015
Meanwhile, the Twitter account of Carnegie Mellon’s admissions office has been silent regarding the affair.
Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.