College Giveth… College Taketh Away…

Kellogg School of Management candidates get false acceptances

Remember when you were applying for college and were so happy when you got a thick return envelope in the mail, as opposed to a small envelope which usually contained a one-page rejection letter?

Well, Northwestern University apparently doesn't do snail mail, and sent acceptance e-mails to 50 applicants it had actually decided to reject, reported.

Understandably, the applicants aren't pleased.

One of them, a 28-year-old Chicagoan, excitedly phoned his parents and enjoyed a celebratory dinner Monday after being notified by e-mail that he had been accepted. But the next morning, when the Lincoln Park research analyst logged onto the college's Web site to learn more about enrolling, he found out he actually had been rejected.

"It was pretty embarrassing, to be honest," said the young man, who asked that he not be identified because he has applied to other schools and not told his current employer about the higher-education plans. "It's like you won the lottery and had the rug pulled out from under you."

Northwestern officials described the error as a "technological glitch" isolated to the Kellogg school.

University spokeswoman Megan Washburn called the "unfortunate error" an "isolated incident" and said the 50 rejected students amounts to less than 1 percent of all applications the school will receive.

The school -- the same that drew heat in October for a grad school party at Chicago's Field Museum --  will reimburse each of the wrongly informed candidates their $235 application fee.

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