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The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

No number given for those affected by e-mail gaffe

The University has still not released the exact number of prospective students who mistakenly received a congratulatory e-mail from the University’s Office of Admissions earlier this month.

The confusing e-mail sent on Feb. 4 to Early Decision II applicants – which congratulated recipients on their acceptance to GW, even though some had already been told they were rejected – was sent after the snowfall in D.C. earlier this month delayed mailings of acceptance packets. The Office of Admissions decided to e-mail accepted applicants, but a clerical error accidentally sent the congratulatory e-mail to all Early Decision II applicants.

The University has said that the e-mail mistakenly went to “less than 200” students – those rejected during the ED II process – but has not shared the exact number. Asked via e-mail, Executive Dean for Undergraduate Admissions Kathy Napper declined to give the number of students who mistakenly received the communication, and Executive Director for Media Relations Candace Smith said she did not have the exact number.

Last Monday, University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard that the e-mail was sent to “some” Early Decision II applicants. But in a statement released Thursday, Napper said the e-mail went to all Early Decision II applicants – a total of more than 800.

“Unfortunately, due to a clerical error, all Early Decision II applicants received a congratulatory e-mail rather than just the admitted students,” she said.

In the statement, Napper apologized for what she said is usually a flawless application process.

The e-mail gaffe garnered coverage from multiple local and national news outlets, including The Washington Post, Associated Press, local network affiliates and District blogs. Headlines repeatedly made light of the gaffe, ranging from “You’ve Been Accepted to GWU! Just Kidding” on to “George Washington University: Our Bad” on the local NBC affiliate’s Web site.

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