State Watch

Michigan school mistakenly tells 5,500 applicants they have scholarships

Oakland University in Michigan mistakenly told 5,500 applicants that they had received nearly full scholarships to attend the school, according to a report from NBC News.

The school blamed the faulty emails to prospective undergraduates on a human error.

“We know the college application process is an extremely stressful time and we are sorry for the added confusion and disappointment this email has caused,” Oakland Undergraduate Admissions Director Shane Lewis and Enrollment Management Vice President Dawn M. Aubry said in a joint statement.

The emails told students that they had received the Platinum Presidential Scholar Award, the university’s highest grant, which covers nearly all of first- and second-year tuition. Each award is valued at around $13,394 a year. 

Bizarrely, it’s the second time in weeks a school in Michigan has mistakenly told a group of students they were winning full scholarships. 

Central Michigan University in January incorrectly told 58 high school seniors that they had received a full-ride scholarship. That school decided to honor the scholarships, something that Oakland University said was not feasible given the number of applicants mistakenly told of their good fortune.

“Unfortunately, due to a human error, the email was inadvertently sent to you and others who had not received Presidential Scholar awards,” Lewis and Aubry wrote. “Please know we take this unfortunate mistake very seriously and would like to sincerely apologize.”

Oakland University spokesman Brian Bierley said the 5,500 students that applied for the university’s scholarship were granted lesser rewards, which are typically between $1,000 to $5,000, according to NBC News. 

“I don’t think it would be” feasible to grant those 5,500 full scholarships, Bierley said. “We’re just trying to work through Oakland’s situation.”

Gwen Poindexter, whose son was one of the students who received the inadvertent email, called the situation “disheartening,” NBC News noted.

“It has not soured Carnell [on Oakland University], but it has soured me,” she told NBC, speaking of her son.

Tags Michigan Oakland University

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