Those few seconds before opening an email about a university application can be excruciating. What comes afterward could be a wave of joy -- or a wall of dread.
For 277 students who applied to the master's program at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, a mistake by the Ivy League school meant applicants experienced both emotions, in relatively quick succession.
Columbia's admissions office accidentally informed the applicants Wednesday that they were accepted to the program, only to rescind the acceptance within an hour, the university said in a statement to CNN.
The mistake was "due to human error," according to Columbia University Vice Dean for Education Julie Kornfeld.
Read more on CNN.