The Ivy Coach Daily

May 7, 2015

Shame on Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon unnecessarily got the hopes of waitlisted students up (photo credit: Ziplux).

We’ve shamed Carnegie Mellon University in the past for sending out offers of admission to certain students only to then send followup communications indicating that they didn’t actually earn admission, that the notification they received was a mistake. It’s not like Carnegie Mellon is alone in making these sorts of mistakes. It happens just about every year at one school or another. But you’d think being as Carnegie Mellon is one of America’s — and the world’s — leaders in computing, that they’d get these electronic communications right. But that’s all in the past. Today, we’d like to call Carnegie Mellon on one other thing in the hope they don’t do it going forward.

Carnegie Mellon recently notified its waitlisted students that they would not be turning to their waitlist this admissions cycle. It happens every year at certain schools. Not every school indeed turns to their waitlists each year, especially if their yield is high (the number of admitted students who choose to matriculate). And a school need not apologize for not turning to its waitlist. That’s par for the course. And yet Carnegie Mellon does owe students who were on their waitlist an apology. As it turns out, Carnegie Mellon checked in with waitlisted students as recently as a couple of days before letting all waitlisted candidates for admission know that they would not in fact be turning to this list.

Did they really need to check in with students just a couple of days before and get their hopes up? It doesn’t seem right to us. That’s like texting someone you went on a date with left and right knowing full well you have no intention of going on another date. Who does that? Aim higher, Carnegie Mellon. Do better.

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