El Centro sends incorrect acceptance letters to potential students

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 9:12 PM

DALLAS - Like many students applying to school, Erin Culton nearly wore her sidewalk out checking the mailbox.

"Every day I've been going out there all excited," the nursing school applicant told us.

Culton was hoping for an acceptance letter from El Centro's nursing school. What she got was a rejection riddled with errors.

It was one of 300 incorrect acceptance letters sent out by the nursing program. Now none of those 300 prospective students know if they're in or out.

Culton said the mistakes were obvious.

"Down here, they said I attended UTA, which I actually have never applied to before," she said.

Also, seven of her 10 grades were wrong.

Three days later, El Centro sent her a follow up e-mail.

"Due to a computer malfunction, we are retracting all notification letters, both acceptance and other letters," Culton read from the letter.

But in the letter, El Centro didn't say sorry.

"It kind of hurts me," Culton said. "I feel like they're just, 'Oh, I made a mistake. I'll fix it.' It would be nice if they would say, 'Sorry for your inconvenience.' Can you image those students who got acceptance letters and now they say, 'You might not really be accepted?'"

Sondra Flemming with El Centro said they have rescinded all 80 acceptances and 220 rejections. Corrected letters will go out in about a week.

"For some reason, the transference from the database to the letters that got sent out was not checked as closely as it should be," Flemming said. "So, that's our accountability. So, we have to go back and fix it."

We asked about the lack of an apology.

"Well, of course we're sorry," Flemming said. "That's something that we don't expect, to set expectations for students and then dash those expectations. So, yes, we're sorry for this."

We asked Culton to grade El Centro's admissions process.

"I would definitely say a 'D,'" she said. "If not 'F,' you know. They've let a lot of people down."

Culton said she still wants an El Centro acceptance letter, but wonders if a school can make a mistake this big, is it really the place for her?

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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