MSUM mistakenly admits 232 unqualified students, rescinds offers, then readmits them

MSMU might have a few more students than administrators bargained for next year.
MSMU might have a few more students than administrators bargained for next year.

Would you still want to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead if the following happened to you?

You get a letter in the mail with happy news -- despite either poor grades or a low ACT score, you've been accepted at MSMU. But some time later, you receive another letter from administrators telling you that there's been an error and you're one of 232 applicants who were mistakenly admitted. "Remember that admittance letter? Our bad -- we actually meant to say you didn't get it. But best wishes!"

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You're obviously upset by the turn of events, but days later, you learn there's been another change. After MSMU's gaffe was widely reported, administrators decided to admit the 232 students -- including you -- after all.

That's pretty much the scenario that played out recently for 232 MSMU applicants. Some of them received mistaken admittance letters as far back as last fall before being informed of the school's mistake after it was discovered last week.

Before the school reversed course and decided to readmit the students, MSMU spokesman David Wahlberg told Forum Communications that he and his colleagues felt "really terrible about this situation."

"We can imagine how disheartening a letter like that would be, to be told on one occasion that you've been accepted and on another occasion that we needed to rescind that acceptance," he added.

MSMU officials still haven't gotten to the bottom of how and why the mistaken acceptance letters were mailed, but after meeting with several of the affected prospective students, administrators decided not to punish them for the school's error.

"We made a mistake," Wahlberg said in a followup interview with Forum. "We need to own up to that mistake. We need to take responsibility for it and find a way to try and make this situation better for those individual students."

The 232 students in question fell short of MSMU's automatic admissions criteria, which includes having an ACT score of at least 21 or ranking in the top half of your high school class with an ACT above 17.

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