PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 164,000 people mistakenly received an email from the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission notifying them that they would receive financial aid from a grant made available by the state.
OHECC used a bulk email service to send the message that went out on Tuesday, Aug. 15, the commission confirmed to KOIN 6 News on Friday. The email, which was first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive, told recipients that their Oregon Promise Grant had been renewed for the 2023-24 school year.
That grant is only available to Oregonians who obtained a high school diploma or GED before attending a state community college throughout the fall, winter and spring. Additionally, recipients are required to have attempted less than 90 college credits and to meet all deadlines for the grant renewal.
According to Oregon Student Aid, the grant covers anywhere from $2,058 to $4,248 in tuition for full-time students.
After accidentally sending the email notice to thousands of students and their listed contacts, OHECC sent an additional one to explain and apologize for the mistake, officials confirmed.
“Your account was accidentally put in the email queue, and you most likely received a message in error due to our bulk emailing system experiencing an issue,” the email read. “You are not eligible for Oregon Promise Renewal. We sincerely apologize for the error and confusion.”
OHECC Communications Director Endi Hartigan told KOIN 6 News the Office of Student Access and Completion has responded to calls and emails concerning the financial aid notice since Tuesday.
Residents who want to avoid the high call volumes can confirm whether they’re eligible for the Oregon Promise grant using OSAC’s Student Portal.
Additionally, Hartigan said that anyone who is ineligible for the grant may qualify for other financial aid such as the Oregon Opportunity Grant. The commission advises students to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid or Oregon Student Aid Application.