AOL Inadvertently Deletes Dozens of Harvard Admissions E-Mails

Share this article:
Hoping to speed up the process of notifying applicants of their admission status, Harvard University in December decided to use e-mail rather than postal mail. The college sent e-mails to nearly 6,000 high school graduates who applied for early admission, telling them whether they will be admitted in the fall.


But nearly 100 applicants never received the e-mail because America Online deleted those messages, thinking they were spam. AOL's servers blocked 75 to 100 e-mails to Harvard hopefuls because the messages were tagged as unsolicited. The Internet service provider could not say why its servers deleted the messages.


In the past, AOL has inadvertently deleted e-mail to educational, medical and nonprofit organizations because the messages had certain characteristics, such as size, quantity or address, that its servers automatically delete as spam.


In the case of the Harvard e-mails, the college said it learned that some of its messages did not get through when applicants called the admissions office complaining they never received notification of their status. The school said it admitted 1,174 students, rejected 191 and deferred 4,677 to the regular admissions process, which ends in the spring. It has no plans to discontinue using postal mail to contact applicants.


Harvard also said it plans to post a notice prominently on its Web site alerting potential applicants to ensure their ISPs don't block messages from the school. However, as of yesterday, no message was posted on the college's Web site.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Digital Marketing

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

Featured Listings

More in Digital Marketing

IAB Tech Lab to Set Global Digital Marketing Standards

IAB Tech Lab to Set Global Digital Marketing ...

In looking to solve complex tech issues, the association opens up full membership to agencies and solutions providers.

Integration Meets Innovation in Planters' Digital Campaign

Integration Meets Innovation in Planters' Digital Campaign

The snacks brand found a healthy way to navigate today's world of digital marketing saturation.

USA Today Decides to Play Games for Real

USA Today Decides to Play Games for Real

It partners with game-maker Arkadium to add 60 new digital games to its site, offering advertisers more segmented breakdowns of players.