An error in the admissions office on Jan. 25 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill led over 2,700 prospective students to falsely believe that they had been accepted to the university.
Lisa Katz, a spokesperson for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said prospective students were very understanding about the error.
“Most students figured out that the e-mail had been received in error because it was worded strangely,” she said.
The e-mail said, “Congratulations again on your admission to the University,” followed by a request for midyear grades.
The students who were familiar with the acceptance process of the school knew that the university only notified students of admissions by U.S. mail, Katz said.
The e-mail was intended to be a request for midyear grades for students who had already been accepted. However, a human error caused this request to be sent to 2,703 students who had applied on the second deadline of regular admissions. These applications have yet to be processed. The students who received the e-mail will know the university’s decision in March, Katz said.
Some students at AU said they felt bad for the students who falsely believed they had been admitted.
Mike Silver, a freshman in the School of International Service, said if this had happened to him, “I would be inconsolable if it were a school I really liked.”
Josh Safran, a freshman in the Kogod School of Business, said if he received an e-mail similar to the one from UNC, it would affect whether he wanted to attend that school.
“It would depend on how badly I wanted to get in and whether or not I had gotten into any other schools already,” Safran said.
An article by The Associated Press on Thursday said the blunder affected those students who had been put on the waitlist.
Katz called this article “a false report.”
The admissions office realized its mistake within an hour, although it initially believed the e-mail had only reached about 500 students. The next morning, the full extent of the error was realized. The office promptly sent out apologetic e-mail messages to those students who had received the e-mail. The guidance counselors of all the applicants were also notified of the error, according to Katz.
Katz also explained that as of last Friday, the school had received and responded to 256 phone calls from students trying to figure out more about the situation.
“We will make sure that something like this will never happen again,” Katz said.
UNC has received a total of about 20,000 applications this ayear, most of which are still under review. Katz said it is too early to tell what effect, if any, this blunder will have on the total enrollment to UNC Chapel Hill’s class of 2011.
This incident occurred shortly after UNC Chapel Hill was declared the best overall value for public colleges by the Kiplinger Rankings, according to the UNC’s admissions Web site.