Every semester, college students find out whether or not their grades will keep them in good standing at their university. Recently, students at Eastern Michigan University received a disturbing email.

“As a result of your Winter 2012 academic performance, you have been dismissed from Eastern Michigan University,” reads the first line of an email that caused many a heart palpation throughout the Ypsilanti, Michigan campus Friday.

That scary message went out to all 23,000 students enrolled at the university. There are also reports of very confused recent graduates getting the email, which went on to say “you will not be eligible to resume coursework at EMU until Summer 2013 at the earliest.”

Needless to say, EMU wasn’t actually trying to get rid of their entire student body or make a point about the work habits of the modern college student. Instead the mass email was attributed to a glitch in a process meant to notify the roughly 100 students who had been dismissed for academic reasons.

“An outside company that we contract with for this notification process, GradesFirst, sent the dismissal message to the entire student body instead of the file of 100 or so students who were supposed to receive it,” EMU’s Vice President of Communications Walter Kraft explained. “GradesFirst has offered an apology for its role in this matter.”

EMU president Susan Martin followed that up with a mea culpa of her own: “I deeply apologize for the incorrect email many of our students received this evening indicating they were dismissed from the University. This message was a terrible mistake and I regret the undue alarm and concern it caused.”

Okay, now explain what happened to 23,000 angry parents.