By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:08 a.m. ET
ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) -- Cornell University mistakenly sent out an e-mail message welcoming hundreds of students it had previously rejected.
The mistake happened Wednesday when a clerical staff member miscoded a message meant only for students who had applied early and been accepted.
As a result of the error, the e-mail was sent to 1,700 students, including nearly 550 high school seniors that the Ivy League school in upstate Ithaca had rejected in December.
``Greetings from Cornell, your future alma mater!'' the message said.
``Congratulations on your acceptance into the class of 2007!''
The mistake was discovered when someone noticed that too many messages had been sent. The university then e-mailed a follow-up message, explaining what had happened.
``I was in shock,'' Angela Griffin-Jones, dean of undergraduate admissions, told The New York Times. ``I'm still in shock.''
While university admissions offices sometimes make mistakes, college admissions officials said the scope of Cornell's error was unusual.
``It is safe to say that every admissions office has had some experience where some kid has gotten the wrong letter,'' Joyce E. Smith, executive director of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, told the newspaper. ``Unfortunately, with e-mail, when you hit the send button, you can't take it back.''