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Northeastern mistakenly sends out 4,000 acceptance letters to law school applicants

“The university needs to make a greater effort to rectify what they did.”

The acceptance email was sent to 205 current applicants and 3,930 from last year's pool. AP Photo/Rodrique Ngowi, File

A woman was accepted to Northeastern University’s School of Law. Five hours later, the school took it back. 

LaKisha Papoutsakis, of Northborough, received an email Monday at 2 p.m. welcoming her to Northeastern’s J.D. Class of 2026. She had applied to the program twice already — as a busy single mother of four, the school’s flexible instruction fit into her schedule. 

“I was over the moon,” she told Boston.com. Papoutsakis excitedly called and emailed her friends and family to share the news. Her Early Decision acceptance included a Northeastern ID number, a merit scholarship, and two requirements — she must rescind all other law school applications and pay a $500 enrollment deposit. 

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“It was very detailed, and much more than a ‘congratulations,’” she said.

Papoutsakis immediately went to pay the deposit, but couldn’t get the website to work. She tried emailing the school to report the problem, but “nobody reached out,” she said. 

The acceptance email sent to nearly 4,000 applicants. Courtesy of LaKisha Papoutsakis

At 7:48 p.m., another email came in from Northeastern. The email rescinded her offer, blaming the acceptance on a technology issue.

“Due to a technical error, 205 current applicants to the School of Law received an erroneous email notifying them of their acceptance into next year’s class. Admissions decisions will not be finalized later in the academic year,” Northeastern said in a statement. 

“It was really disheartening,” she said. “For such an accredited, high-ranked university to have such a major glitch and take five hours to realize is ridiculous. After such a detailed acceptance, ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it.”

The school said that not only was the email sent to over 200 current applicants, but over 3,930 applicants who had applied a year ago. “While many of those applicants have already matriculated at Northeastern or another law school, they also received the clarification email,” the university wrote.

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The Northeastern University School of Law’s current first-year class has 234 students, chosen from 3,877 applicants. 

While Papoutsakis was dismayed by the glitch, she isn’t giving up on her legal aspirations. 

“I’ve wanted to be a lawyer my whole life,” she said. Papoutsakis is planning on reaching out to the school through other legal avenues in hopes of an acceptance. 

“The university needs to make a greater effort to rectify what they did.”

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