Australian National University Bungles Admissions: Confused by Surname "Smith"
The case of mistaken identity was the latest administrative bungle for the ANU medical school's 2007 admissions process in which another department prematurely congratulated 80 applicants and retracted the emails hours later.
But Ms Smith, 22, who learns tonight whether she qualifies for an undergraduate place at the University of Newcastle when the main round of university offers are released, is still waiting for her happy ending.
She had been trying for five years to secure a place in a medical school, so she was disappointed to learn by letter after several trips to Sydney and Canberra for exams and interviews that she had just missed out on a graduate place at ANU.
Instead she was placed on the reserve list in case others did not take up their offers, and was told there was a good chance she would later be accepted.
Then just after Christmas, she got what she thought was a late present: a hefty package from ANU, addressed to her.
"We are delighted you have accepted a place at the ANU Medical School and look forward to your arrival on 12 February 2007," the cover letter said.
The celebrations began. Family and friends were told, her grandfather came over for dinner, and she set off on a trip to Japan.
But missing from her information parcel was whether she had been offered a full-fee or Commonwealth-supported place, so she emailed an associate dean, Rosemary Martin, to clarify.
Following a series of confused emails, it was established that the pack had been sent to her erroneously.
"I am very, very sorry about this," Professor Martin wrote. "It is a case of several people with the surname 'Smith'. However, the mistake was inexcusable and we unreservedly apologise for falsely raising your hopes."