Hundreds of waitlisted students were mistakenly told they were accepted to UCLA in a financial aid letter sent last weekend.
The error came from a mistake in an email sent out last week informing both accepted and waitlisted students that their grant aid had been increased. At the bottom of the email was a sentence congratulating them on being accepted to UCLA. But when the 894 waitlisted students who received this email clicked on the link directing them to their revised financial aid letter, it was clear that they were still on the waitlist.
Confused waitlisted students called the financial aid office, said UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez. The financial aid office sent out a clarification email on Monday once it realized the mistake.
This is the first year that UCLA has opened a waitlist for students. Approximately 2,900 students accepted a position on the waitlist. Not all students on the waitlist received the email.
“We realize this is a particularly anxious and stressful time for students and their families as they try to make decisions about college admissions. We sincerely apologize for this mistake that may have led some of them to think they were admitted when they remain on the waiting lists,” Vazquez said.
The letter was solely a financial aid notification and had nothing to do with admissions, Vazquez said. If UCLA does accept from the waitlist, individuals will be contacted directly from the admissions office.
Any waitlist decisions will be made after May 1 when students submit their statement of intent to register.
Waitlists are an enrollment tool, Vazquez said. They help to ensure that the university does not over-enroll, as it did last year, and in tight financial times, they help to make sure that the university fills every spot in the event that fewer students enroll than anticipated.
As of last year, UCLA and UC Merced were the only University of California campuses without waitlists.
This is not the first time a UC campus has sent out mistaken admissions-related letters. In 2009, UC San Diego sent out admissions letters to students who had already been rejected by the school and in 2010 UC Santa Barbara sent out admissions letters to students who remained on the waitlist.