In what is being called an embarrassing and unprecedented snafu for the Office of Admissions, more than 400 Penn acceptance letters were accidentally sent to Pennsylvania State University applicants, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda announced in a statement Tuesday.
At the same time, The Daily Collegian — Penn State’s student newspaper — reported that hundreds of PSU admissions letters were inadvertently sent to Penn applicants, forcing a rare collaboration between the Penn and Penn State admissions offices as both schools scrambled to do damage control after a deluge of angry calls from applicants and their parents.
According to Furda’s statement, the error arose when disgruntled Philadelphia postal workers — irate at the extra work hours they have been putting into forwarding hate mail to Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky scandal this fall — swapped the schools’ letters in protest.
In a joint press conference Tuesday afternoon, Furda and Penn State Executive Director for Undergraduate Admissions Anne Rohrbach apologized to students and parents.
Rohrbach went on to say that PSU would be happy to offer a place to any Penn applicant who wished to matriculate to Penn State after receiving an erroneous letter. This caused some tension when Furda, who eyewitnesses described as “visibly uncomfortable,” noted that Penn would not be extending a similar offer to Penn State prospectives.
“We, uh, unfortunately won’t have space for students who accidentally received University of Pennsylvania acceptance letters to join in the fall,” Furda said. “We regrettably have to request that you ship back your autographed Furda-themed boxers or Furda action figures as soon as possible,” he added, referring to a new initiative by the Office of Admissions to increase yield rates by giving accepted students complementary Penn swag.
In a show of solidarity with the misled applicants, members of the student-run Admissions Dean’s Advisory Board held a vigil on College Green, forming a circle and holding hands.
“We’re all going to school in Pennsylvania,” College junior Alan McShneerson said. “And that should be all that matters.”
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