Financial Aid Contractor Sent Out Misleading Email

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The joy of an early acceptance was soon replaced with disappointment for 2,500 prospective Fordham University students.

Fordham said the applicants erroneously received a financial aid email implying they had been admitted – even though they hadn’t.

The school sent a follow-up email explaining the mistake a few hours after the initial missive went out to early admission applicants Wednesday. The actual admission information was posted Thursday.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, Fordham is ranked as a top-five Catholic university in the country and 60 percent of those who apply are rejected.

The university says 500 of the applicants were rejected and the remaining 2,000 were deferred, meaning they must wait until April 1 for a decision.

The email was sent out by California-based contractor Student Aid Services. Spokeswoman Mary Fallon said the error occurred as data was being transferred.

“In the transfer, we mistakenly sent emails on financial aid to approximately 2,500 Fordham University applicants which inferred they had been accepted for early admission, when, in fact, their status was still unresolved,” she told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “We’re working in very close collaboration with Fordham University to minimize any anguish the error caused to prospective students.”

Fallon said this was the first error of its kind for the company.

An Arizona teen named Victoria was one of the students who received the email.

“I posted it on my Facebook, showed it to all my family. My family congratulated me. I almost booked my flight just to go visit Manhattan and Fordham,” she told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

She then received the follow-up email indicating that she’d been wait-listed.

“It’s like a harsh little side of reality right there,” Victoria said.

A student in Missouri City, Texas who received the email said she was excited at the thought of attending college in New York City.

“I think any senior, you know, pressure off your chest, you’re getting accepted somewhere, it’s an exciting time,” Elizabeth Gonzales told Aiello.

The school says it “deeply regrets that some applicants were misled.”

Current Fordham students reacted to the email error.

“I don’t like to see this. I wonder how a mistake like this is made and I hope it’s corrected. I feel bad especially the people who got accepted and actually are denied,” said Andrew Bilotta.

“I feel terrible, it’s a big shame. I’m happy to go here and I’d be sad if I thought that was taken away from me,” Elizabeth Van Meter added.

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