It was late Friday night when Parker Christensen and dozens of other prospective Central Michigan University students received a message saying they had won the Centralis Scholarship Award.
The award includes full room and board in addition to tuition.
“To win a full ride that’s like every kids dream,” says Christensen. “Attending college, that would have been like the next step in my career. I didn’t have to pay a dime for college. I wouldn’t have to save up. It was just amazing.”
Christensen says he checked his student portal again on Saturday, and the message was gone.
“When it disappeared I was just confused I didn’t know if like they had a website mess up because they did recently make a new website seem, so I was considering that maybe they just had a bug or something,” Christensen said.
Then on Sunday morning, he got a call from Lee Furbeck, Admissions Executive Director at CMU, saying that he didn’t receive the award.
It was an error while running a test message in the student portal. The message had been sent to 58 students in total.
“I was just angry and disappointed that for two full days I thought I had it and then just in a couple days I lost it all,” says Christensen.
Wednesday night, Furbeck reached out to Christensen saying they were reaching out to students who saw the congratulatory message, and offering them the equivalent of a full tuition scholarship.
CMU’s tuition is estimated to be about $12,750 a year.
“It definitely doesn’t feel this exact same as a full ride,” says Christensen. “It’s definitely still a lot to take in and I mean it’s better than nothing. I didn’t expect them to do this at all. I thought this would have been the last thing this would have just been to get the word out and hopefully not happen again.”
Christensen is weary that this could happen again. He’s worried about being charged more for a class or payments not processing, or even missing out on opportunities in the future.
“It could lead to a lot of things, so yeah, it does definitely make me lose a little trust for the school,” he says.
Christensen is still excited to be attending in the fall. He’ll be studying pre-med and looks forward to being a part of the school community.