Fordham University tells 2,500 applicants they're accepted; they're not

Story highlights

  • Fordham tells 2,500 applicants they're in when their status is uncertain
  • E-mail sent by a third party about financial aid mistakenly includes congratulations
  • 500 not accepted, others are deferred until March or had incomplete applications
More than two-thousand college-bound students applying to Fordham University received an e-mail Wednesday night informing them they had been accepted to the school, when in fact their status was still unresolved, Fordham University says.
"Congratulations once again on your admission to Fordham," the e-mail read.
The e-mail was sent to thousands of prospective students who had applied for early admission to New York's Fordham University, said Bob Howe, senior director of communications for Fordham.
However, 2,500 of those newly accepted-to-Fordham students received congratulations in a financial aid related e-mail, which usually comes after a proper acceptance letter, Fordham University said in a statement.
Fordham sent a correction e-mail later Wednesday evening and all applicants were able to check their admission status online by midday Thursday, according to the statement.
Five-hundred were ultimately not admitted, while the rest were deferred until March or had incomplete applications, Howe said.
Netta Walker, 17, from Jacksonville, Florida, felt the same disappointment.
Walker was wrongfully accepted to Fordham's Lincoln Center campus as a musical theater major.
"The fact that they accepted me and then denied me was really painful," Walker said. "My dad was really upset about it. It wasn't the fact that I was denied, it was the fact that they sent a denial after an acceptance."
"My wife and I were there for our daughter. She still has opportunities. What if some poor kid out there thought this was their only opportunity and they had no one to help them? It's terrible," said Netta's father, Antonio Walker.
The inaccurate e-mail was mistakenly sent by a member of Student Aid Services, a third-party company that serves as an undergraduate admission consultant to Fordham, said Mary Fallon, a Communications Consultant for Student Aid Services.
Student Aid Services said the mistaken acceptances were a result of human error and there is no indication of a computer glitch that could lead to errors in any of the other 700 secondary schools it provides services, Fallon said.
"We are devastated by the error that has occurred today and extremely upset by the anguish that we have caused. Please accept our most sincere and heartfelt apologies," Craig Carroll, CEO of Student Aid Services, wrote Wednesday evening.
Fordham University said it "deeply regrets that some applicants were misled by the financial aid notice" and "is working with SAS to find out what went wrong, and will put procedures in place to ensure such a mistake doesn't happen again."