USF mistakenly sends acceptance letters to 430 applicants

- At first, there was excitement, and then, disappointment.

"I was surprised, and I was like congratulations to myself, and then I was devastated, and heartbroken you know," said Dixie Hollins High School Senior Mel Garcia.

Garcia was one of 430 applicants who received acceptance letters via email from USF St. Pete on Saturday, only to be told an hour later it was a mistake.

"I was out camping, so all of my friends around me, I got to tell them, and they were happy," Garcia said. "And within an hour, I got another email saying sorry, disregard the previous e-mail."

That's all the e-mail said, and there was no explanation for the error.

But an apology came three days later from Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock.

"We apologize number one of course for making a mistake, for an error that happened. we always are distressed by those kinds of things," Tadlock said. "We always pride ourselves on being very careful and we pride ourselves on making sure we do the right thing, all of the time."

The university says it was a human error, something Garcia finds hard to imagine on such a large scale.

"It's kind of unbelievable in the way, but at the same time, how can that happen, and why did it happen, you know?" Garcia said.

That's what USF St. Pete will spend the week investigating: The electronic system used to place applicants on certain lists, and *how the human error occurred.

"It's all part of the electronic system, where we have students of course listed and individuals who work with our admissions notify students when they're listed by using students off of that list that they're working with," Tadlock said.

Garcia hopes those who had their dreams crushed, still have a chance.

"Two of my friends, that was their first college acceptance, and I just felt so bad for them, I didn't know what else to say, I was like, I'm so sorry," she said.

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