updated 4/4/2009 8:53:10 PM ET 2009-04-05T00:53:10

New York University officials weren't laughing when hundreds of people mistakenly received word that they'd been accepted to grad school on April Fools' Day.

NYU says it sent out acceptance e-mails April 1 to 489 applicants to the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Those applicants should have received rejection letters instead.

The school sent out a second e-mail about an hour later to the applicants, saying they hadn't been accepted after all.

NYU spokesman Robert Polner blamed the mixup on a clerical error. He says the school apologizes for the mistaken e-mails and is looking into it to prevent it from happening again.

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