In what's becoming a regular occurrence at college campuses across the country, Johns Hopkins University mistakenly sent congratulatory emails over the weekend to nearly 300 student applicants who actually had been denied or deferred.
“Embrace the YES!” the subject line read in the notes, according to the Washington Post.
But now the Baltimore-based college is embracing the apology, blaming the glitch on “human error” by a contractor working for its undergraduate admissions office.
Johns Hopkins sent out early acceptance notifications last Friday, Dec. 12. The school then sent a follow-up email intended for those students only, but the note mistakenly also got sent to 294 additional students.
“It was a congratulatory message, and also contained information relevant to accepted students. When the problem was discovered, we quickly sent out an apology message to those who had received the message by mistake,” the school said in a statement to TODAY.
“We apologize to the students affected and to their families. This was an unacceptable error and we are working to ensure it does not happen again. We very much regret having added to the disappointment felt by a group of very capable and hardworking students, especially ones who were so committed to the idea of attending Johns Hopkins that they applied early decision.”
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had a similar slip up, while Fordham University and Vassar College also made such errors in the recent past.
Johns Hopkins said 1,865 students applied as early decision applicants and 539, or about 29 percent, were accepted. The remaining 1,326 students were either denied or deferred entry.
“Again, we offer all the affected students and their families our sincere apology,” Johns Hopkins said at the end of its statement.
The TODAY team expressed sympathy for the hundreds of students who might have been crushed by the mistake.
“There’s no malice there but just such a heartbreaker for those kids,” said Willie Geist.
Al Roker encouraged the school to change its mind and let the 294 students in, figuring those students probably have the credentials.
“Odds are those kids could go there," he said. "Let them in!"
Follow TODAY.com writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.