USF St. Pete offers apology, reason for ‘mistake’ acceptance letters

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – After receiving the best news ever, Pinellas County high school seniors then received the worst.

Their college acceptance emails were a mistake.

Over the weekend, a congratulatory email was sent to more than 400 students.

Then, the offer was rescinded.

8 On Your Side began asking questions after a concerned mom reached out to us.

She was extremely disappointed to see students at Dixie Hollins High School heartbroken after receiving an acceptance email from USF St. Petersburg.

An hour later, a follow-up email arrived saying to “disrgard” the previous email because it was an “error.”

How did this happen?

8 On Your Side found out it was human error, according to university officials.

An admissions officer working with an Excel spreadsheet accidentally sent acceptance emails to everyone on the list, rather than a select few.

The university is offering a sincere apology to those affected and is also contacting every single person who received the “mistake” emails.

Staff told WFLA that they want to work with all students invovled. 

“All of us here are heartbroken about this because we remember our own admissions to college. Many of us are parents, we saw our kids go through that process. The elation when you get in, the disappointment if you don’t. I can’t imagine what those students and their families are going through. Our hearts go out to them, and we offer our sincerest apologies,” said Carrie O’Brion from USF St. Pete.

A total of 680 emails were sent and 250 of them were legitmitate acceptance emails.

However, 430 were sent prematurely.

A team is now contacting every single student who received the email in error.

“We are truly sorry, and this will never happen again,” said O’Brion.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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