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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Upside-Down Letters by Ben Jones

We will get to the bottom of whatever caused this error, that much I can promise you.

To those of you who received your letters printed upside-down on the MIT stationary, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. That is inexcusable and all of us are beside ourselves in embarassment and frustration. We will get to the bottom of whatever caused this error, that much I can promise you.

If you received such a letter, you have every right to be angry with us. I know that it was insulting and made an already-bad letter even worse. I only hope that you can accept our apology and understand that it was wholly unintentional.

Some have remarked that it is a sign that we don’t care. While I understand how one could feel that way, please don’t let something like the automated printing of decision letters override our other efforts to show you – in pretty much every way we can think of – that we really do care. Not that you owe me any favors, but I’m asking anyway.

10 responses to “Upside-Down Letters”

  1. S&Mer says:

    Now if I got an acceptance letter upside down, that would be cool! But a rejection letter upside down just hurts even more. On a side note, it would be funny if the waitlist letters were printed sideways…
    But I haven’t received anything yet (and I live in Charlotte, NC, where lots of other people got their letter Monday). So I’m still waiting, hopefully for something that won’t turn my life upside down.
    Oh yeah, by the way, first post!

  2. Dongyon Kang says:

    second post!
    I would like to receive my acceptance letter upside-down. That would be so cool! But I live in Kentucky and I haven’t received my letter yet… Today is Wednesday.

  3. Ben says:

    Sleet, with all due respect, I’m not even going to bother responding to that. I’ve acknowledged that the mistake was an awful one. If you wish to make the case that it negates all of the other ways I’ve tried to show that I care over the last 5 months, so be it.

    Did you bother to notice how hard we worked to mail decisions 2-3 weeks earlier than other schools to reduce stress/waiting/etc.? Have you noticed that all of my posts since mailing day have been written specifically for waitlisted or rejected folks?

    Don’t insult me by saying my job is *only* to serve the institution. I’ve proven that false in too many ways to count.

  4. sleet says:

    If MIT admissions doesn’t care to instruct its envelope-stuffers to give each rejection letter just a glance before putting it in, then it doesn’t care about the rejected applicants. If it uses a machine to handle the job, the completely hands-off process also shows a lack of care. But why should it care, anyways? It’s not like with the accepted applicants, which you want to recruit to boost yield. Once the adcom’s institution-serving purpose is complete, then all that’s required of the rejection letter is that the news is conveyed soothingly enough so nobody can blame it if it provokes someone into doing something stupid.

  5. Ben says:

    I am sorry for being so defensive in the last post. Hard week for all of us. Apologies. hmmm

  6. Prashant says:

    Ok that *was* pretty strong, sleet. Come on, it’s just an inverted letter. Colleges here (India) don’t even care to notify rejected applicants – if you’re in, you recieve a letter; if you’re not, keep waiting.

    Take it easy dude…

  7. sreraman says:

    have not recieved my decisions yet…

  8. I melt and vaporize thee sleet, leaving a sweet mist of dew to hang gingerly on the adcom’s shoulders! Leave Ben alone, he did his best!

  9. FyscisPhreak says:

    Ben ~
    My two cents worth: I appreciate your (admission’s)hard work in getting out early letters – most of my friends are still anxiously awaiting April letters. I’m glad MIT cuts that limbo mercifully short…
    And thank you, ThePurifyingSun. My sentiments exactly, with a lot more than my eloquence.

  10. Ben, to think I basically only read Matt’s blog these past few months. you are a nice guy and that was a nice apology regarding the upside down letters. even nicer of you to understand some people are not really themselves right now. My HS senior was accepted at the hardest school to get into in the country and she is still nervous about hearing from the others she applied to! even though it highly doubtful she would go to any of the others? why is she worried? she is just not herself right now as she waits to hear from schools that she has put her precious time and youthful energy into filling out applications to see if these schools would consider her, since she has considered them. Why? Who knows! we all want our interests to be mutual. its difficult when there is rejection of any kind. but in the end, we all face it somewhere along the way.
    I wish I would have been checking your blogs daily. I **REALLY** wish I would have been checking Daniel B.’s blogs daily. You have done a wonderful job.