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[NOTE: This article appeared in the annual joke issue.] Just days after Admissions Dean Lee Stetson announced that Penn's Class of 2004 would be the most selective in history, officials are now saying that the admitted group may, in fact, be one of the weakest group of scholars ever to gain admittance to the University. "We screwed up -- big time," Stetson stated in a letter of explanation to University President Judith Rodin and the University Trustees. "This group may actually be the very stupidest to ever get past our noses." In the letter, Stetson blamed the poor quality of the Class of 2004 on an administrative snafu, which admissions officers did not catch until decision letters had already been sent. "Apparently, one of our former work-study students was incapable of recognizing the difference between accept and reject [application] piles," Stetson said. "Needless to say, he's no longer with us." After several days of manually sorting through admissions records, new figures were released yesterday on the actual composition of the Class of 2004. The admitted group actually boasts an average combined SAT score of 1072, rather than 1412 as originally announced. And the average student will graduate in the top 66 percent of his or her class -- not the top 2 percent as Stetson said previously. In addition, admission to the Class of 2004 has been offered to 12 valedictorians, four salutatorians and one student who was ranked second in his class but has been bumped down to fourth after a disappointing third marking period. "[That student] is kind of our wild-card now," Stetson said. "The percentage strength of the class would really benefit by that kid being number two or three. Damn that senioritis!" Rejected students reacted angrily to the enormous bureaucratic mix-up, which Stetson said could not be rectified in time for the beginning of the fall term. "In all my days, I have never experienced such inane lunacy as I did when I received my [rejection] letter from Penn," said E. Thornton Merriwhether, an honors student and national merit scholar currently attending Exeter Academy in Massachusetts. "A 1600 on the SATs, ranked first in my class -- I even served as temporary ambassador to NATO," Merriwhether said. "What more does Penn want? Princeton, here I come." Some students, however, expressed sheer delight with their unexpected acceptances. Tiffi Chawawa, an admitted student from the Cosmetology School of Staten Island, N.Y., said she was very surprised to be admitted, especially since she submitted her application on a dare from some of her classmates. "I is so, so, so thrilled to be getting my letter from Mr. Stetson at the great school of Penn U.," Chawawa said. "Go Nittany Lions!" Penn Students Against Stupid Students said they were angered by the Admissions office mistake and will protest the move today by calling accepted students and insulting them until they hang up.

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