By Nathaniel Montoya, Staff Reporter
Everybody makes mistakes. This was the case Aug. 20 when what Amarillo College officials described as a “couple thousand” students received an email saying they had been awarded a Thrive scholarship that would cover tuition, course fees and books. A few hours later, the students received another email stating the scholarship message was a mistake. “That message was sent to you in error–please disregard that email. Our most sincere apologies,” the email said.
Many recipients of the email said they were confused about how the mistake occurred “The truth is it was human error,” Kevin Ball, vice president of communications and marketing, said. “Lists were mixed up and the emails were sent to the wrong recipients. The mistake was immediately attended to as we performed an audit to take out names that did not belong. Two hours later we sent the apology emails,” he said.
The erroneous email was received by current students, former students and even people who have never attended Amarillo College. “Luckily, I simply overlooked the scholarship. I figured since I am no longer an Amarillo College student, it could go to someone who needs it more,” Chayse Armstrong, a 2018 AC graduate, said.
Other students said the mistake left them disappointed. “It felt as though they got my hopes up just to take the award away,” Alixandria Bray, a mortuary science major, said. “I do not know what is to come of this, but I do feel that there should be some sort of consequence. This was a big mistake that should not be taken lightly. It’s unfair to the struggling students of AC,” she said.
Some students said they feel the situation could have been handled differently. “I think that this error was not treated properly,” Amy Gonzalez, a sonography major said. “A scholarship is something so great to receive to begin with, even to be celebrated. Then to receive a short and quick email just a couple hours later to say it was an error is just disheartening,” she said, adding “I hope more training is given so this ‘error’ doesn’t affect anyone else again.”
AC officials sent a follow-up email to the staff informing them that action was taken to safeguard against further accidents of this nature. Officials also noted that even if students are not eligible for the Thrive scholarship, there are numerous scholarships available and options for educational funding. Ball said current and prospective students should contact AskAC at 806-371-5000 to learn more.