John Hopkins University mistakenly accepted hundreds of applicants it had previously rejected

The institution admitted it had exacerbated an already stressful time

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The Independent US

Hundreds of applicants rejected by a prestigious US university were shocked when they received an email welcoming them to the institution.

John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, which ranks among the world's top 20 institutions, mistakenly sent welcome emails to 294 applicants –  285 of whom had been rejected, while nine had their bids deferred.

One such hopeful applicant, Sam Stephenson, 17, from Culpeper County in Virginia was confused when an email with the subject: "Embrace the YES!" dropped into his inbox at around 3:01pm on Sunday.

Just two days before he had been rejected by Hopkins, his mother Cathy Stephenson said.

The institution, which accepted 15 per cent of applicants this year, was alerted when a puzzled student notified its staff.  The university subsequently sent an apology to those affected by the heart-breaking error, the Washington Post reported.

"The decision posted on the decision site reflects the accurate result of your Early Decision application,” the follow-up email read. “We regret this technical mistake and any confusion it may have caused."


David Phillips, vice provost for admissions and financial aid at Hopkins, apologised for what he said was a result of “human error”.

He explained that a person who works for a contractor that helps Hopkins with electronic communications pulled the wrong list of e-mail addresses.

"We apologize to the students affected and to their families," Phillips said.

“Admissions decision days are stressful enough. 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," he added.

The bungle comes after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent applicants an email regarding financial aid with the line: “You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT!” although thousands of recipients had been rejected.

And earlier in the summer, Notthingham Trent university in the UK emailed applicants to offer them places despite not achieving their predicted A-Level results - the day before results were officially published.