Columbia University campus, New York
For 277 applicants, their excitement over gaining admission to Columbia University vanished within an hour.
Following an email on Wednesday informing them that they'd been accepted to Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health Master's program, these prospective students got another email within an hour informing them that the original had been a mistake.
Columbia blamed the mistake on "human error" and sent out follow-up emails apologizing for the mix-up.
"We deeply apologize for this miscommunication. We value the energy and enthusiasm that our applicants bring to the admissions process, and regret the stress and confusion caused by this mistake. We are working assiduously to strengthen our internal procedures in order to ensure that this mistake does not happen in the future" said Julie Kornfeld, the school's Vice Dean of Education in a statement.
CNBC reached out to Columbia to find out more about the fate of these students' applications, but a representative did not immediately have additional information.
Admissions mistakes are nothing new for universities, and each year prominent examples of decision errors sprout up, dashing many students' hopes along the way.
In 2015, Carnegie Mellon mistakenly accepted and then rejected 800 applications while just last year, the University at Buffalo admitted more than 5,000 applicants by mistake before their files had been completely reviewed.
The New York Times first reported the news.