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Some CMU students get false notice of full-ride scholarship

The university blamed the error on technology issues, and made it up to the future Chippewas
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 17:57:30-05

(WXMI) — It’s been a roller coaster week for 58 future Central Michigan University students.

This weekend, they received a notice that they’d received the school’s prestigious Centralis Scholarship, an award worth full tuition, room and board, books, and a $5,000 study award.

Parker Christensen, a junior at Newaygo High School, was one of the students who received the notice.

“I didn’t know what was happening — if it was even true,” said Christensen, who said he even got as far as registering for the scholarship’s orientation. “I signed it; I put the date down; they told me to set up an orientation after that. So I was like, 'I got this.'"

A few days later, though, Christensen received more contact from the school. They told him he and those 57 other students had been caught up in a technology error that inadvertently let them know they’d received the scholarship.

“They were testing the Centralis through a test run on the servers and it was on the day of the results, which I thought was weird,” said Christensen.

“While testing a new messaging technology over the weekend, CMU staff inadvertently posted a message about the prestigious Centralis Scholar Award that was seen by students who were logged into the system at that time,” said school spokesman Aaron Mills. “CMU deeply regrets the disappointment and frustration this mistake caused for students and their families.”

It was an obvious letdown for the students who received the notice, but on Thursday, Central told FOX 17 that each student involved in the mistake would receive an annual scholarship worth the full amount of tuition — $12,750 per year.

Christensen called the back-and-forth a "roller coaster," but the class president and aspiring cardiologist noted he’s very lucky to be coming out of college relatively debt-free.

“They did make it up in a way,” he said. “I’m looking forward to just being on campus, being involved in the community and stuff there.”

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