College Guide


April 12, 2012 10:01 AM The Wrong Letter, Again

By Daniel Luzer


This happened yet again.

According to an article by Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times:

In an email about financial aid awards, UCLA told 894 high school seniors last weekend that they were admitted to the highly competitive campus. Those students actually remain on the waiting list for the Westwood school.
UCLA is apologizing for the error. Officials, however, are not yet moving anyone into the admitted category. “We realize this is a particularly anxious and stressful time for students and their families as they try to make decisions about college admissions. We sincerely apologize for this mistake that may have led some of them to think they were admitted when they remain on the waiting lists,” said campus spokesman Ricardo Vazquez.

This is, frankly, just kind of cruel. In the school’s efforts to cut costs and depersonalize education, it makes serious mistakes and confuses already very anxious high school students.

New rule, if you screw up and send the wrong letter, that letter applies and they’re in. It’s your fault. You should pay for these mistakes, not the kids.

There’s no need for this. If colleges can’t figure out how to do this right, they should just go back to sending out paper letters. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • maryQ on April 13, 2012 4:36 PM:

    I'm actually surprised that the "new rule" you propose is actually not already a rule. When I was in graduate admissions for a large state U, I told in no uncertain terms that no letter should go out, with my signature, in error because the university would be required to honor that letter.

    You can bet that i read each letter inside out, upside down and backwards before sending it out. But I guess that was before the great cost-cutting venture.

    Good luck with that, morons.