By Jessica Kartalija

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)–Dozens of high school students find out they’ve been accepted into a Baltimore County college only to learn it was all a mistake. Now Goucher College is apologizing for the mix-up.

Jessica Kartalija has the story.

It’s spring break at Goucher College in Towson.

While students are on vacation, admissions staff is hard at work after 60 students whose application had been wait listed or rejected received a congratulatory email.

“Your offer of admission was mailed today, but I wanted to let you know the good news now, so that your family can celebrate tonight,” the email said.

Unfortunately, it was a mistake. A Goucher employee created an email to be sent to recently-admitted students, but 60 students whose applications had been waitlisted or rejected were also in that file.

“It was a human mistake,” said Michael O’Leary,  vice president for enrollment management. “We recognize the mistake and we owned it, and we are trying to do right by those families. We proactively reached out to the parents of those students Thursday evening, explaining our error and apologizing for our mistake.”

Goucher has already admitted more than 2,400 students for a freshman class they were hoping would be around 425 to 450 students.

This is the second time in five years the college has mistakenly told students they were admitted.  In 2009, the financial aid office sent congratulatory letters to students who had not been accepted.

“You know, every time you push the button and you hit send, there’s a pause. But that’s why the data integrity is so important. The message is so important. Personally, I believe when there’s a mistake, you own it. You apologize for it, and you move forward,” O’Leary said.

Other colleges and universities have had similar problems. MIT, Fordham, Vassar and UCLA have also sent out congratulatory emails when students had not been admitted.

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