School's Mistake May Have Cost Student Full Scholarship to Stanford

High school accepts blame for transcript error.

ByABC News
August 27, 2014, 3:55 PM

— -- A brainiac from northern California says a mistake at his high school cost him a full ride to Stanford University.

Lincoln To, 17, finished in the top five of his class at Serra High School in San Diego and was a finalist for a full scholarship to the university, he told San Diego 6.

But he was disqualified when his school failed to send his transcripts before the deadline, To said.

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“I think considering the fact that I was rejected purely because they made a mistake, that made me really upset,” To told the station. “Especially considering they refused to admit that they had made the mistake.”

But the school has since fessed up, admitting his transcript fell through the cracks.

"Yes, we made a mistake and the materials were not sent by the deadline," San Diego Unified School District spokesperson Ursula Kroemer said. "It's really unfortunate. I'm so sorry about what happened to Lincoln's submission, but it did give us the opportunity to say, how we can make sure this doesn't happen again?"

Kroemer added that the school had been experiencing technical issues with its system that handles transcripts, but said those issues are separate from To's case.

The school says it updated the system that deals with transcripts and is reviewing its policies. Kroemer also said To's case was an isolated incident.

Cindy Marten, the school district’s superintendent even sent an official letter to universities explaining that a new computer system led to problems sending the transcripts, and asking for an extension.

In To’s case, it was already too late. He was disqualified, and lost out on his chance for a scholarship to Stanford.

Stanford University said they cannot comment on the status of applicants.

To’s story has a happy ending -- he moved into the dorms today at UCLA, where he has a full scholarship.

"He's got an amazing future," Kroemer said. "We're very proud of him."