Whoops, sorry: you’re not admitted after all.

Well, ouch. Imagine being admitted by the college of your choice, and then having that “admission” rescinded. That’s just what happened at Carnegie-Mellon recently. It’s not as uncommon as you might think: Cornell, UCLA, and other colleges have made the same mistake in the past.

What are newly admitted students supposed to do — wait a few hours before telling family and friends? Call the college and ask if they’re really admitted? Please. At the very least, institutions who make this egregious error should refund the student’s application fee, which is small compensation, I know, but still something. Note to Carnegie-Mellon: You are a higher learning institution. So please do what you do best — teach — and lecture your admissions staff about how to “measure twice, cut once.”

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