A new grant will provide free tuition to students whose families make less than $75,000 a year. The grant, The Lehigh Commitment, was announced by university President Joseph Helble, '82, and Provost Nathan Urban on Monday, Oct. 2. (Megan Burke/B&W Staff)

Lehigh sends congratulatory email to students not admitted to university


For 137 Lehigh early decision applicants, feelings of accomplishment and celebration turned to disappointment when an erroneous congratulatory email was sent to all early decision applicants instead of only those students who were admitted. 

Bruce Bunnick, Lehigh’s director of admissions, sent an apology email to “the majority of impacted students” hours after the mistaken congratulatory email was sent on Dec. 19.

In Bunnick’s email, he cited “human error” as the primary cause of this mistake, and noted that this was exceptionally difficult for him as a parent of a student who recently went through the admissions process.

Receiving the erroneous email after the disappointment of our decision must have brought confusion, frustration and perhaps anger, for which I again apologize,” Bunnick said in his email. 

Lori Friedman, Lehigh’s director of media relations, said the university realizes “how much distress this mistake has caused” and that the university plans “to increase the safeguards in place to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

Lehigh’s admission statistics show that 51 percent of last year’s first-year class was comprised of early decision applicants.

The error follows a documented history of universities accidentally sending out acceptances to students who were not admitted, including Johns Hopkins University in 2014, UCLA in 2012 and George Washington University in 2010, according to Time

The Morning Call was first to report this story. This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.

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