University of Kentucky emails 500,000 acceptance letters to high school seniors in error

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University of Kentucky emails 500,000 acceptance letters to high school seniors for ‘selective’ program in error – most of whom had never applied, visited the school’s website, or even knew the college existed

  • Seniors were sent the March 15 acceptance letter to the College of Health Science program in emails that left them scratching their heads 
  • The ‘selective’ college program that only takes 35 to 40 students a year 
  • University would quickly send a follow up email in less than 24 hours
  • Students receiving the email quickly realized that there had been a mistake, however 
  • School has a current enrollment of around 31,000 students, according to their website

The University of Kentucky have left 500,000 high school seniors in a state of confusion after sending them acceptance letters into a ‘selective’ college  program that only takes 35 to 40 students a year – even though many had never even heard of the school.

Seniors were sent the March 15 acceptance letter to the  College of Health Science program in emails that left them scratching their heads. 

‘We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into the selective Clinical and Management program in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences for the Fall 2021,’ the email read. 

‘We commend you for this accomplishment and look forward to working with you during your undergraduate experience.’  

Seniors were sent the March 15 acceptance letter to the College of Health Science program in emails that left them scratching their heads

Seniors were sent the March 15 acceptance letter to the College of Health Science program in emails that left them scratching their heads

The university would quickly send a follow up email in less than 24 hours, LEX 18 reports.  

‘Unfortunately, we had a technical issue that sent this message to you in error,’ the school said in its follow up email. 

They added: ‘We sincerely apologize for any confusion that the message may have caused.’

While apologizing for their blunder, the university still plugged what was ‘wildy possible’ for prospective students at the University of Kentucky.

University would quickly send a follow up email in less than 24 hours

University would quickly send a follow up email in less than 24 hours

Students receiving the email quickly realized that there had been a mistake, however.  

‘I was like, “Mom, I just got accepted into the University of Kentucky.” And she’s like, “Oh, I didn’t know you applied to University of Kentucky.” And I was like, “oh, I did not,”‘ said Mary Dougherty, a senior from San Antonio. 

She added that not only had she never applied to the school, she never visited or even checked out the university’s website. 

Dougherty is one of several high school students who told LEX 18 they never applied to UK, visited or even went on its website.

Erin Esping, a senior from Georgia, added: ‘I had to google it just to make sure it was a real college because, like, I’ve heard of them. But I’m not so sure.’

School has a current enrollment of around 31,000 students, according to their website

School has a current enrollment of around 31,000 students, according to their website

Some students expressed worry about taking other students spots at the school, with one student actually calling to ensure they knew she wasn’t attending.  

The school has a current enrollment of around 31,000 students, according to their website.   

‘Only a handful of those on the prospect list had been admitted to UK,’ University of Kentucky Spokesman Jay Blanton said in a statement. ‘The vast majority had not, nor had the vast majority of these students expressed an interest in the program. Nevertheless, we regret the communication error and have sent correspondence to all those who were contacted, offering our apologies.’

Blanton added that the emails had been sent using the school’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. 

‘Think of it as a much more sophisticated tool than say MailChimp to send a newsletter. There has to be a platform for distribution – whether a current student or one we may be recruiting. It is a common practice in higher education,’ said Blanton. 

‘So, the student could have indicated they were interested in UK at some point or they may have sent an application. There are a number of ways we would have their contact information.’

Blanton added that all students who did express interest in the program have received their acceptance letters.   

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