Carnegie Mellon Sends 800 Admittance Letters by Mistake

A tough correction to make...

cmu commencement
Next year’s commencement at CMU will have 800 less seats

Yesterday was a tough one for the Office of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This institution is known as a pro-nerd assembly line of future leaders in engineering and computer science…but it MAY have upset a few hundred members of its own key demo due to a technical gaffe and some “serious mistakes.”

It seems the school accidentally sent out 800 acceptance letters to prospective students who didn’t actually earn them.

According to FOX News, the university sent an unwelcome follow-up email to the rejected students on Tuesday. The email said the system had “incorrectly flagged” applicants:

Kenneth Walters, a university spokesman said the welcome messages were the result of “serious mistakes” in the university’s process for generating such letters. Walters also said that the university will conduct a review to prevent further error.

“We understand the disappointment created by this mistake, and deeply apologize to the applicants for this miscommunication,” Walters said.

AP (courtesy of US News & World Report) caught up with one such reject named Ben Leibowitz, who called up all of his relatives when he cracked open a CMU envelope and saw the (fake) good news.

“It was brutal. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Now I have to clean up the mess. I’m calling all my relatives, I’m going, ‘I’m sorry it’s not happening.'”

Thanks to a Gawker tipster, America has a redacted version of the email notice that went out to the student who didn’t really have what it takes…more than seven hours later.


Earlier this morning, we mistakenly sent you an offer of admission to Carnegie Mellon’s MS in CS program. This was an error on our part. While we certainly appreciate your interest in our program, we regret that we are unable to offer you admission this year.

We received a large number of applications this year from well-qualified applicants and we had many difficult decisions to make.

Thanks you very much for your interest in Carnegie Mellon’s MS in CS program. You are certainly free to reapply in the future, at which time your application will again receive full consideration.

Again, we are sorry for our miscommunication earlier today and we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this has caused.

PS: Please acknowledge receipt of this retraction.

Frank Pfenning

President’s Professor of Computer Science and Department Head

Computer Science Department

Carnegie Mellon University

In other news, it’s kind of funny that the computer science department was the one with the fat fingers and faulty email.

Chins up, pocket protector nation…you’re still smarter than the 1%.