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Johns Hopkins mistakenly welcomes wrong students

BALTIMORE — Johns Hopkins University mistakenly sent nearly 300 applicants welcome messages when they were actually rejected or deferred, and now the school has issued an apology, calling it human error.

Vice provost David Phillips said a contractor who works with Johns Hopkins on electronic communications pulled a wrong list of e-mails.

‘‘We apologize to the students affected and to their families,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘Admissions decision days are stressful enough. We very much regret having added to the disappointment felt by a group of very capable and hard-working students.’’

The students had applied for early decision to the prestigious Baltimore university. Of 294 applicants who received an erroneous message, 285 had been denied admission and nine had deferrals.

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Other colleges also have made embarrassing errors in admissions notices. In February, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent thousands of students e-mails about financial aid, saying they were getting the information because they had been admitted. But that was an error.

Associated Press