Waiting for college acceptance letters is dreadful as is. Imagine thinking you were admitted to your dream school, however, only to be told, “Just kidding.” For several unlucky souls considering MIT, that scenario was a painful reality.

The gaffe sounds like a scene pulled from Ashton Kutcher’s MTV series Punk’d. Last week, the Institute sent an email to applicants with a footer that read: “You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT.”

About That Email,” explained Chris Peterson, MIT’s admissions counselor for Web communications, in a blog post entitled just that. The admissions staff mistakenly followed the advice of its email marketing service provider MailChimp. In an attempt to consolidate email lists of both applicants and admits, the team experienced undocumented, detrimental side-effects of MailChimp’s recommendation.

To summarize multiple paragraphs of text: Footer notices were mistakenly swapped and some students who haven’t yet been admitted to MIT now think they have been.

“Luckily,” those hopeful high schoolers are few. As Peterson said:

My guess is that overall a very small number of our current applicants even noticed this; I didn’t even know until someone pointed me to the MITCC thread about it. But any number of people getting this kind of mixed signal is too many. I’ve been on that side and I know how it feels. And if you’ve now felt it too, in part because of me, I’m so, so sorry. If you want to talk, post below or send me an email.

And, oh, did people post.

Chris Peterson genuinely hates you all. He sent this email out to make you all feel bad.

Alright, so that was the most sarcastic of all the comments. The rest were understanding, although honest:

Thank God I didnt noticed that footer

I might have died from a heartattack seriously!! (O_o)

And dont worry Mr. Peterson……you didnt did that purposely. Everyone does mistakes and this post of your’s shows how much you regret this one ^^

Let’s just hope this hopeful incomer properly punctuated his MIT application.

The MIT College Confidential thread Peterson referenced painted a more dismal picture:

Well yeah, but it seems pretty cruel. I mean I know it’s MITs style to joke around but it seems kinda cruel to say that and get our hopes up. I think we should still confirm.

This kid has to be having a rough day. Given MIT is known to release their regular action admissions decisions on Pi Day — a holiday annually held on March 14 to laud lovers of the mathematical constant of 3.14159 — the school should probably deliver actual pie to make up for their, albeit unintentional, mistake.