“We initially thought we could include you as fellow this year, but the popularity of the program was far greater than expected.” That is what more than 50 international students read in an email from the University of Texas at Tyler, announcing their full-ride scholarship had been revoked.
Most of these students are from Nepal and are now trying to figure out what to do since there have missed deadlines to apply at other universities.
So how does something like this happen?
The University of Texas at Tyler had the Presidential Scholarship, which was a full-ride scholarship for highly-qualified students. According to a spokesperson, they were not expecting to have nearly 100 qualified applicants. Plus, they were waiting for what is called a ‘melt’. This is when an institution offers scholarships, however, know that some students will still choose to attend another university. Instead, the university experienced a larger yield than expected.
Unfortunately, the letters went out announcing to these students they had received this scholarship before anyone checked the budget.
A spokesperson said the university will honor full-ride scholarships for 30 Nepali students and five other international students. For the rest, they were offered in-state tuition and a $5,000 scholarship.
However, this is not enough for some. Hritik Rawat told University World News that he lost a year because he still can’t afford to attend the University of Texas at Tyler and does not have time to apply to other universities.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time universities have made life-altering mistakes. In 2017, Columbia University accidentally sent an email to 277 applicants announcing they had been accepted, only to send an email an hour later sharing the acceptance email was a mistake. In 2016, the State University of New York at Buffalo accidentally sent out acceptance emails to more than 5,000 applicants. In the same year, York University in Toronto accidentally emailed 500 applicants they had been accepted.
Mistakes will happen, so our best advice when applying to universities either in the United States or around the world, is to make sure you always have options.