A prestigious postgraduate fellowship program run by the Office of Personnel Management has acknowledged it sent acceptance letters to about 300 applicants by mistake in January.
The Presidential Management Fellows program had 9,077 applicants, nominated for the program by their graduate schools, for 2012. Of those, 628 were ultimately chosen as fellows and 1,186 were semifinalists. All semifinalists were invited to conduct in-person interviews.
Approximately 25 percent of the semifinalists received erroneous acceptance letters, according to Fox News.
On Jan. 23, the same day the emails were sent out, applicants were told there was a technical problem with notices to semifinalists for the PMF Class of 2012, OPM director of employee services Angela Bailey said.
“Within minutes we realized some semifinalists received erroneous notifications. Due to an administrative error, approximately 300 semifinalists received both notifications when they should have received only the first notification that they were not selected,” Bailey said in email.
The mixup caused a flood of discussion on the program’s Facebook page within minutes of the faulty notifications.
The fellowship program started under the Carter administration in 1977 and is a two-year, paid position at several federal agencies, open to graduate students who wish to become future federal government leaders. It boasts an extensive alumni network.