Holland College apologizes for accidental acceptance letters

Holland College is apologizing to 40 applicants who received an email indicating they'd been accepted to the college this fall when, in fact, they hadn't.

'We apologized profusely because it was a fairly bad mistake to make'

'I'd be surprised if people weren't a little bit upset with us,' says Holland College's Sandy MacDonald. (CBC)

Holland College is apologizing to 40 applicants who received an email indicating they'd been accepted to the college this fall when, in fact, they hadn't.

On April 6, a staffer in the college's adult education department accidentally sent a congratulatory email to 80 applicants in a variety of programs — only half of whom had actually been confirmed as accepted. The other 40 were still "pending." 

"We apologized profusely because it was a fairly bad mistake to make," said Sandy MacDonald, the college's vice-president of academic and applied research.

"To get an indication saying you're in and another an hour later saying you're out would be extremely disappointing to most people. I'd be surprised if people weren't a little bit upset with us." 

Changes already made

The college sent follow-up emails within an hour correcting the mistake, and two subsequent emails to apologize.

The college quickly sent out emails explaining its error but has had some explaining to do, says MacDonald. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Potential students have since been emailing and phoning seeking clarification.

From now on, only the college's registrar's office will be allowed to send emails with acceptance information, MacDonald said. He doesn't know of anything like this having happened before at the college.

The school hopes the mistake doesn't cause any of the students to drop off its waiting list. 

Candidates are accepted based on high school grades, marks in any post-secondary courses and volunteer experience, MacDonald said.

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With files from Laura Chapin