Central Michigan University pays tuition after scholarship errors

A full tour, including tuition, room and board, plus a $ 5,000 prize for studying abroad and access to the school’s honors program.

That’s what 58 high school students 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 on Sunday they received terrible news: That message had been sent to them by mistake. In fact, they had not actually been awarded the scholarship to the University of about 20,000 students in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

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

The university said it would reach out to the students with the changed 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 the messages about the Centralis Scholar Award were sent out unintentionally by school staff 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 apologize for the incorrect communication, the university said.

In an updated statement Wednesday night, Central Michigan University said that “to do it right” the 58 students who had mistakenly received the congratulatory message would now receive offers “to increase their prize money to the equivalent of a scholarship for full tuition. ”

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

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

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

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