Lincoln To, 17, graduated in June from Junipero Serra High School in San Diego. He was ranked in the top five of his graduating class and had a 4.67 grade point average. To was a finalist for QuestBridge, a program that bridges under-served students with top university. He chose to apply to Stanford University through Questbridge, and if selected for the program, would have received a full-ride scholarship. However, Questbridge notified him that he was not selected for the scholarship because his application was incomplete.
To discovered QuestBridge did not receive his transcript by the deadline. However, he had made the necessary requests to have his school submit his academic record. The school district discovered the problem and sent an email notifying QuestBridge of a ”technological error” with their student information system. Unfortunately, it was too late.
Other students in the school district also had problems getting their academic records to colleges and universities. In February, Superintendent Cindy Marten of the San Diego Unified School District wrote a letter to colleges, universities, scholarship committees and financial aid offices explaining the error. In the letter, she asked that organizations requiring transcripts to “hold our students harmless for any unforeseen nuisances on their transcripts and for any possible deadlines missed due to our internal workings.”
District spokesperson Ursula Kroemer told San Diego 6 News the district “made a mistake. We’re fixing that mistake so that it doesn’t happen again.” The district offered an apology to To on Tuesday. While he will not be attending Stanford in the fall, he is starting at UCLA with a full-tuition scholarship.
Although the school made the mistake, this is a good reminder for students to closely monitor their college and scholarship applications. For items that are submitted by other individuals, such as transcripts and recommendations, students should always request these items early in the process. In addition, students should check with colleges and scholarship committees to ensure documents were received before the deadline. By being proactive, students should be able to meet deadlines even if there is an error made by others.