A public university in Texas says it is working to correct an error that resulted in 454 applicants receiving acceptance brochures though their applications are still pending.
The brochures, which featured information on orientation and on-campus housing, were mistakenly sent out March 27 to students whose applications were incomplete, according to a spokesman at Texas State University.
“The brochure itself was not an acceptance letter,” Jayme Blaschke, director of University News Service at the San Marco, Texas, school told ABC News. “It is normally sent to students after they’ve been accepted.”
One of the students who received the brochure, which the university says was sent by a third-party vendor, was 17-year-old high school senior Jake Hastings.
Hastings had not yet submitted his SAT scores to the school but received the acceptance brochure in the mail last Monday. He realized something was wrong yesterday when he went online to try to register for an orientation session.
"I talked to about eight people," Hastings told ABC News today. "About three of them didn’t know what was wrong and the last lady was like, 'Yeah, some program we have sent out the wrong letters. The letter was supposed to say the application was incomplete, not a letter of acceptance."
"I was just so upset," Hastings said. "It was killing me because that was one of the big schools I wanted to go to."
Hastings and his parents, John and Michelle Hastings of Round Rock, Texas, say they have been in touch with the university’s admissions office but believe officials have not been forthcoming.
“They’ve known about this for a week and they kept telling me, ‘Well we don’t know how to contact people,’” John Hastings said. “They were just hoping nobody said anything because they hadn’t sent out a word.”
"What finally made the decision is what would we do if we hadn’t found out early and Jake was expecting to go to Texas State," Hastings said of the family's decision to go public with their story. "There have to be families out there who may not realize that they got the wrong thing."
Blaschke said the university sent a letter today to each of the 454 applicants who mistakenly received the acceptance brochure to “acknowledge the error and clarify their status.”
“To put it into context, university admissions mails out more than 750,000 letters and publications on an annual basis,” Blaschke said. “But for any one of those 454 students, that error is one too many for them.”
Blaschke said that since the mistaken admissions brochure was mailed, some of the 454 applicants have been accepted to Texas State, some have been declined and others, like Jake Hastings, await a final decision.
"It's still my top choice and now I just have to wait and see," Hastings said. "They told me to wait a couple of weeks for my application to be reviewed."
“He’s gone through K-12 with the same group of friends and some of his friends have already been accepted,” John Hastings said of his son. “He’s submitted his SAT scores and he is hoping, but the numbers are going to be tight.”
“This time of year, this hits the chord of everyone who has kids who are going or have gone to college,” John Hastings said.
Jake Hastings says he has already learned at least one that will serve him well no matter where he goes to college.
"One is not to wait until the last minute, obviously," he said.