University's admissions director out after scholarship error

Scholarship Error
Posted at 12:40 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 12:40:05-05

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) -- An admissions director is out of a job after dozens of prospective students inadvertently were told they had won full-ride scholarships to Central Michigan University.

The director no longer is employed by Central Michigan, WZZM-TV and The Detroit News reported Friday, and another employee has taken over her responsibilities. It was not immediately clear if she resigned or was fired.

Central Michigan 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."

But the university said Wednesday that those contacted hadn't won the prestigious award and 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.

It is not clear how much more money that means for the affected prospective students, but tuition for U.S. residents at CMU is estimated to be about $12,750 a year.

The Centralis Scholars Award is considered the premier 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.