During the first week of January, a Michigan University sent thousands of college students an email saying they won a scholarship totaling close to $50,000. Imagine the excitement and sense of pride. But, sadly there was a major email error and they had to apologize for making such a big mistake. Oakland University is located around 28 miles outside of Detroit, Michigan. Their administration the one who had to apologize for making a “human error”. Their undergraduate student application system sends 5500 students an email that they all received the highest award called the Platinum Presidential Scholar Award. This award is valued at $12,000 per year for four years.
Brian Berley, the director of Media Relations at Oakland University told the press that “Unfortunately, the students who received the message do not meet the eligibility requirements for this award, but have qualified for varying levels of other scholarship awards”. He also said that “while the emails were sent in error, OU (Oakland University) students of scholarship awards through official scholarship award letters sent to students via US mail.
The Platinum Presidential Scholarship, which is the highest scholarship, it’s not application-based. High School students who earned a GPA of 3.9 or higher and a score of 1450 on SAT or higher are awarded the scholarship. The students who received the wrong email were supposed to have received a different message about other awards that they qualified for. The university realized the mistake made within two hours of sending the email.
The average tuition for in-state freshmen at Oakland University is around $14000, according to Oakland University’s website. Room and board are almost the same prices, averaging $11,000 a year. For the Fall of 2021, Oakland University offered around 200 students Platinum Scholar Awards. And as of now, 160 students have qualified and 62 accepted.
What is strange is that another university in Michigan made similar errors. Dozens of students at Central Michigan University were told they earned a full scholarship, which meant free tuition. They were told the full tuition, fees, and room and board for four years, and a $5000 study away was given for free. This university apologized and said they will honor almost all of what they said they would.
Both apologized and stated they will be more careful to avoid such a huge mistake from happening again.