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UCSB mistakenly gives good news, then apologizes to 60 wait-listed applicants

April 8, 2010 |  5:03 pm

UC Santa Barbara mistakenly told 60 applicants they were admitted to next fall’s freshman class when, in fact, they remained on the waiting list for entrance, officials said Thursday. "It’s an awful situation and I feel really bad about it," UC Santa Barbara admissions director Christine Van Gieson said.

Because of a staff error in pulling names from computerized lists, families of the applicants received recruitment mailings intended only for those who had been admitted, she said. The 60 were among 2,400 on the school’s waiting list, an admissions tool that is being used extensively by the UC system for the first time. They can now choose to remain on that list but will not be automatically admitted because of the mistake, Van Gieson said.

UC San Diego experienced a much larger embarrassment last year when it sent a congratulatory e-mail to 28,000 students who had been denied admission. Within hours, the school apologized and the students remained on the rejected list.

-- Larry Gordon