RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University sent an apology email to prospective students who received an acceptance email this week.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, the VCU Office of Admissions sent an invitation to its Spring Open House to people who applied for the Fall 2023 semester.

In a statement to 8News, the university said, “The message mistakenly addressed all of the email recipients as accepted students; however, admissions decisions had not been made for everyone who received the email. We issued an apology and clarification on the same day and sincerely regret the mistake.”

A VCU spokesperson said they don’t have information on what caused the error, and it’s not known how many of the emails were sent.

Patricia Merriman, whose son received the email from VCU this week, said it came in a few days after his 18th birthday.

“When my son got the acceptance email, he was extremely excited about it because he also applied to Howard but was waitlisted, unfortunately. VCU was his first choice,” she said.

The same day, Merriman said her son received the follow-up email.

“Then he gets another email stating it was a mistake. That no decision has been made yet. Can you imagine that disappointment on your birthday?” Merriman told 8News. “I do feel like all those acceptance emails that were sent out by mistake need to be honored.

VCU’s statement continued to read, “Individuals with complete application packets on file as of December 27 will hear from VCU by January 2023.”