"Embrace the YES!" is the encouraging message sent over the weekend to college applicants who had recently been told … no. Hence the confusion at Johns Hopkins University, which on Sunday mistakenly sent a cheery email to 285 students who had already been denied admission, the Washington Post reports. (Another nine who were deferred from early admission till regular admission also got the email.) "Welcome to the Class of 2019!" the email read. "We can't wait for you to get to campus. Until then, as one of the newest members of the family, we hope you'll show your Blue Jay pride." Ways to show that pride included suggestions to use a university hashtag on Twitter, join a private Facebook group, and pick up campus-themed gear at an online store.
Dave Phillips, a vice provost for admissions, says the letter was the result of "human error" after a contractor called up the wrong email list for the blast. The momentary hope of those who received the erroneous email was dashed by a salt-in-the-wounds follow-up email later Sunday that said "the decision posted on the decision site reflects the accurate result of your Early Decision application. We regret this technical mistake and any confusion it may have caused." Applicant Cathy Stephenson tells the Post that the college should've made personal phone calls to apologize to the twice-rejected students. Phillips says they didn't do so only because they didn't want to make students feel worse than they already did. (UCLA and Vassar have sent out similar goofs to rejected applicants.)