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University mistakenly told 58 students they’d won full rides. It’ll pay their tuition anyway

That’s what 58 high school seniors were told they
would receive from Central Michigan University when they were notified over the
weekend that they had been awarded the school’s prestigious Centralis Scholar
Award.

But then on Sunday they got horrible news: They had
been sent that message by mistake. In fact, they had actually not been awarded
the scholarship to the university of about 20,000 students in Mount Pleasant,
Michigan.

Three days later, however, Central Michigan University
said in a statement Wednesday evening that it planned to pay four years of full
tuition for the students who had been mistakenly told that they had been
awarded full rides. They will not, however, receive other perks of the
scholarship, a university spokesperson said.

The university said that it would be reaching out to
the students with the amended offer.

“We deeply regret the disappointment and frustration
caused by the test message error in the student portal,” the university said in
the statement.

Earlier Wednesday, the university said that the
messages about the Centralis Scholar Award were sent out inadvertently by
school staff members when new messaging technology was being tested.

On Sunday, the university’s executive director of
admissions contacted the families of students who had received the messages by
mistake to apologise for the miscommunication, the university said.

In an updated statement Wednesday evening, Central
Michigan University said that “to make it right” the 58 students who had
received the congratulatory message by mistake would now receive offers “to
increase their award amount to the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship.”

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It was unclear what specific amounts the students
would receive, but undergraduate tuition is $12,750 per year, according to the
university.

It was also unclear Wednesday night whether the
students were eligible for the Centralis Scholar Award.

To receive the award, high school seniors must have a
grade-point average of at least 3.7, according to the university.

© 2022 The New York Times Company

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