Georgia State mistakenly sends 1,500 welcome emails to applicants Georgia State University says the students were not sent an official acceptance letter but "communication" from a department welcoming those who intend to major in a specific academic area.

1,500 college applicants thought they were accepted. They soon learned it was an error

Applicants to Georgia State University received a welcome email for the 2024-25 school year. However, the email was sent in error to 1,500 applicants by the school's admissions office. Here, the campus celebrates its fall commencement exercises on Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. Meg Buscema/Georgia State University hide caption

toggle caption
Meg Buscema/Georgia State University

Applicants to Georgia State University received a welcome email for the 2024-25 school year. However, the email was sent in error to 1,500 applicants by the school's admissions office. Here, the campus celebrates its fall commencement exercises on Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta.

Meg Buscema/Georgia State University

An unfortunate mistake caused 1,500 people who applied for admission to Georgia State University in Atlanta to celebrate their acceptance a little too early.

The affected students who applied for admission for the 2024-25 school year received a welcome email from the university on April 29, congratulating them on their acceptance.

However the university said the students, who had incomplete applications, received the welcome email by mistake.

In a statement to NPR, a university spokesperson, Jo Ann Herold, said the 1,500 students were not sent an official acceptance letter but were sent "communication from an academic department" that welcomed students who intend to major in their prospective academic area.

The university says the following day, the 1,500 applicants were sent a follow-up communication explaining the error. Herold said the university encouraged the students to complete their applications so they could be considered for admission.

The university did not say what led to the error. Some applicants have now completed their applications and have since received official acceptance decisions.

"The Admissions Office at Georgia State University apologizes for any confusion, disappointment, or inconvenience this miscommunication may have caused," Herold told NPR.

The miscommunication from the university left some applicants, like Vanessa Peters' daughter, feeling disappointed.

Peters, whose daughter applied for admission to the university, told Atlanta station WSB-TV that her daughter was thrilled to learn that she had been accepted — only to find a day later that her acceptance email was sent by mistake.

"It's heartbreaking," Peters said.

"She really won't talk about it. She wouldn't come out of her room all day. She's just very disappointed," Peters told WSB-TV.

In 2018, the university made a similar error when roughly 1,300 prospective graduate students received messages that alluded to them being accepted, despite being initially rejected, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The university, at the time, told the newspaper that the employee who made the error was retrained and that campus officials were to review the system used to notify applicants to prevent future mistakes.