Another university has made the embarrassing blunder of accidently sending out acceptances to students who never even applied. This past Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 4,000 high school students in the Washington DC and Virginia area received emails from the University of California Santa Cruz congratulating them on their admissions, but they never even applied. Washington Post reported on Thursday, March 27 that the Northern California university sent out invites to these students inviting to a reception for newly admitted students.
Patricia Gutierrez, the Regional Admissions Representative for UC Santa Cruz signed and sent the email invite for the reception. The invite read, “Congratulations on your admission to UC Santa Cruz! To celebrate your achievement and to provide an opportunity to learn more about UC Santa Cruz, you and your family are cordially invited to a special reception in the Virginia area on March 28th, 2016.” The reception was being held in Alexandria, Virginia and was going to be attended by Chancellor George Blumenthal and the Director of Admissions Michael McCawley.
The email shocked the students that received it because they never even applied to the school, many had to take another take to make sure it was not spam or a scam, but the email was legitimate, just sent by accident. And what an embarrassing mistake for the school. The Regional Admissions representative mistakenly sent the letter to the list of prospective students rather than the admitted students list.
UC-Santa Cruz’s admissions director, Michael K. McCawley sent a corrections email out to the students on Thursday afternoon. The email said, “It is always embarrassing to have such mistakes occur, and I’m sure you wondered why you received the invitation when you haven’t even applied to our campus. Each year I read about such things happening around the country and try to have protocols in place to ensure it won’t happen to our campus, but obviously those protocols were not followed last night.”
Continuing McCawley apologized and wished the students luck, “While we did have you as a potential applicant for fall 2016, we realize that you didn’t apply to our campus, so please accept my apology for last night’s invitation. Wherever you did apply, I hope you were successful in gaining admission.” The university’s spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason said that “nearly 60,000 students” applied for the class of 2020 to the US Santa Cruz. The school just started sending decision notifications on Tuesday, March 15.
This is not the first or the last time universities and colleges have made mistakes with sending out offers of admissions, notifications of acceptances online and by email have made the scenarios a too often occurrence. The false acceptances are usually sent to students who were denied or deferred admissions. In the past John Hopkins University, MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fordham University, Vassar College and the University of California at San Diego have previously disappointed applicants who had not been accepted.