It's a 'You Won a Scholarship' Gaffe, Take II

Another Michigan university sends out errant notice to thousands of students
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2022 5:34 PM CST
Updated Jan 31, 2022 12:45 PM CST
Schools Sends Errant 'You Won a Scholarship' Notices
The Central Michigan University campus is shown in Mount Pleasant, Mich.   (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

Update: Last week, we reported on a university in Michigan that errantly informed incoming students they had won a full-ride scholarship. Now comes news of a different university in Michigan that did much the same thing. Oakland University mistakenly notified 5,500 students they had won the Platinum Presidential Scholar Award, worth $12,000 a year for four years, reports MLive. (That amounts to nearly a full ride.) Two hours later, the students were informed of the gaffe, which was chalked up to "human error." The school apologized for the "confusion and disappointment." Our story from last week follows:

Dozens of prospective Central Michigan University students who were mistakenly told they had won full-ride scholarships have received an apology from the school—and offers of a tuition-only scholarship “to make it right." School officials said 58 youths received messages last weekend while accessing the university portal telling them they had won a Centralis Scholars Award, which includes full tuition, room and board, money toward books and supplies, and a $5,000 "study away award," per the AP. But the university said Wednesday that those contacted hadn’t won the prestigious award and that the message had gone out "inadvertently" as school staffers were testing new messaging technology.

University officials apologized for the error Wednesday night and offered all 58 prospective students the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship, a lesser value than the original. "We deeply regret the disappointment and frustration caused by the test message error in the student portal," CMU spokesman Aaron Mills said in a statement. It is not clear how much more money that means for the affected prospective students, but tuition for US residents at CMU is estimated to be about $12,750 a year.

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The Centralis Scholars Award is considered the top merit scholarship CMU offers, according to the school's website. The scholarships are awarded to high school seniors, and only students who have a minimum 3.7 GPA and have already been admitted to the university are eligible. In addition to full tuition, room and board, and the award's other benefits, students who get the scholarship can also take part in special honors classes. (More mistake stories.)

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