UCSD goof gives false hope to rejected students

About 28,000 students who didn’t get into UC San Diego this year were given false hope this week when they were invited to a campus orientation event.

The students all received the same misfired e-mail message sent around 5 p.m. Monday, congratulating them on their acceptance and inviting them to a campus orientation. About two hours later, a new mass e-mail was sent, disinviting the students.

UCSD admissions director Mae Brown told the newspaper that the initial invitation had been an “administrative error’’ but refused to say whether the mistake was made by one or more members of her staff or by a contractor, or if those responsible would be disciplined.

The first e-mail, which began, We’re thrilled that you’ve been admitted to UC San Diego, and we’re showcasing our beautiful campus on Admit Day,” was sent to the entire freshman applicant pool of more than 46,000 students, instead of just the 18,000 who had been admitted, Brown told The Times.

The error was discovered almost immediately by her staff, which sent an apology within hours. Brown told The Times she takes full responsibility for the error.

“We accessed the wrong database,” Brown told The Times. “We recognize the incredible pain receiving this false encouragement caused. It was not our intent.”

Schools -- including Cornell University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School of Management -- have made similar admission notification blunders in the last five years, but UCSD’s mistake was by far the biggest, The Times reported.