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The admissions director of a Michigan university has lost her job after mistakenly awarding scholarships worth over $28,000 to 58 young people.

Lee Furbeck, executive director of admissions, is no longer employed by Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant after the fiasco. It was unclear if she was fired or quit.

Students who were logged in at the weekend were erroneously sent a message saying they had been awarded the Centralis Scholars Award, which includes full tuition, room and board, money toward books and supplies and a $5,000 ‘study away award.’

The university does not say how much the scholarship is worth, but states on their website that tuition costs $12,510 a year, and room and board is $10,676 annually.

By Sunday, the university was having to explain to the 58 that the message had been sent by mistake. 

Aaron Mills, spokesman for the CMU, said the mistake occurred while the school was testing a messaging system over the weekend.

Lee Furbeck, admissions director of Central Michigan University, has left her job after 58 students were mistakenly awarded $28,000 scholarships

Lee Furbeck, admissions director of Central Michigan University, has left her job after 58 students were mistakenly awarded $28,000 scholarships

Lee Furbeck, admissions director of Central Michigan University, has left her job after 58 students were mistakenly awarded $28,000 scholarships

The Central Michigan University campus is pictured in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

The Central Michigan University campus is pictured in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

The Central Michigan University campus is pictured in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

‘CMU deeply regrets the disappointment and frustration this mistake caused for students and their families,’ Mills said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the university offered the 58 some money towards their costs, as a gesture of goodwill.

But on Friday, Bob Davies, the president of the university, said they had decided to honor the full value of the $12,000 scholarship – a cost of $725,600 a year, or $2.9 million in total.

‘We made a mistake, and we needed to make it right,’ Davies wrote on the university’s website

‘At CMU, we hold ourselves accountable for our actions — integrity leads the list of our core values. 

‘Our leadership standards require us to be responsible and accountable; so when we err, we own our mistakes and we take corrective action. 

‘In this instance, this meant honoring our offer.’

Bob Davies, president of CMU, said they had decided to offer the 58 scholarships worth $12,500 a year to cover their tuition

Bob Davies, president of CMU, said they had decided to offer the 58 scholarships worth $12,500 a year to cover their tuition

Bob Davies, president of CMU, said they had decided to offer the 58 scholarships worth $12,500 a year to cover their tuition

Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where tuition and accommodation costs almost $25,000 a year

Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where tuition and accommodation costs almost $25,000 a year

Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where tuition and accommodation costs almost $25,000 a year

Davies said that the students were already classed as talented, and so merited the assistance. 

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. 

‘Let me be clear: These are outstanding prospective students, and each of them is deserving of scholarship support,’ he said, noting that every applicant to the Centralis competition was already eligible to receive other CMU scholarships.

‘They were chosen to compete for Centralis because they demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement and a passion for learning, service and leadership. 

‘Each will make a wonderful addition to our community of scholars if they choose to attend CMU.’

Davies said the decision will cost the university financially, but he was confident they would find a way to balance the books.

‘I can tell you with confidence that we will award these scholarships from our general fund without using donor dollars or shifting resources away from the budget for any division or department on campus,’ he said. 

‘This will not negatively impact current students or employees, or other future students.’ 

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Oakland University, north of Detroit, mistakenly offered scholarships at the beginning of the year worth $264 million. They have rescinded the 5,500 offers

Oakland University, north of Detroit, mistakenly offered scholarships at the beginning of the year worth $264 million. They have rescinded the 5,500 offers

Oakland University, north of Detroit, mistakenly offered scholarships at the beginning of the year worth $264 million. They have rescinded the 5,500 offers

On Friday, a second Michigan university – Oakland University, north of Detroit in Rochester Hills – erroneously notified students that they would receive top tuition awards.

They said that, due to human error, its undergraduate student application system sent email notifications to some admitted students that they were entitled to receive the school’s Platinum Presidential Scholar Award.

The Platinum Presidential Scholar award is worth $12,000 per year for four years. 

The average tuition for freshman and sophomores is $13,934. Room and board averages about $11,192 per year. 

The school said about 5,500 students received the erroneous notification, meaning that the scholarships would have cost the university $264 million.

The university apologized for the error, and will not be awarding the scholarships to all those mistakenly informed. 

The award is Oakland University’s highest, but the students who received the notification do not meet eligibility requirements for the award. 

The email was intended for students who had already been sent notice of their Presidential Scholar award through an official scholarship award letter, the university said.

‘An immediate correction update was sent within two hours to the students who received the scholarship messages in error,’ the school said. 

‘Our Undergraduate Admissions team also scheduled phone calls to explain the situation for those who contacted us.’

A follow-up apology notice was sent January 5.

Source: Daily Mail

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