Thousands Of Students Taunted With Accidentally Doubled Financial Aid Deposits

Checking your bank account and finding thousands of dollars more than should be there is always a happy moment — well, at first, until you realize that the unexpected windfall is actually just one big mistake. That’s what happened to thousands of students at University of California, Los Angeles, last week.

CBS2 Los Angeles says the mistake happened last week, when Student Financial Services made a “duplicate error,” which meant depositing financial aid payments into student bank accounts twice. Hence, the duplicate part!

The bad news for students is they won’t get to keep all that extra dough. A spokesman told the station that “approximately 7,000 students were affected. We’ve notified all of them and we’re working to rectify the situation.”

Of course, while some students would love to hang on to that cash, others realize it’s not fair to keep it. The university is warning that it will reverse the extra deposits.

“In all fairness, I think it should be given back because as it is, we’re in like such a financial crisis with the whole UC system so this would only make it worse,” said one student.

The university emailed students after the mistake happened, and let them know that what was so easily deposited will just as easily be taken back out of their accounts. So, bad news for anyone who already went on a spending spree.

Thousands Of UCLA Students Get A Sudden Windfall In Financial Aid Mix-Up [CBS2 Los Angeles]

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  1. Lyn Torden says:

    “Many students, like Espinoza, have done just that. He even received an email thanking him for returning the funds.”

    “As for those who kept it, the university warns that it will reverse the deposits.”

    But, will they be able to ONLY reverse it for those that have NOT sent it back? And what about maybe a couple people that have their “send backs” in the queue when the reverses are initiated?

    Be on the lookout for a story that tells about Espinoza’s deposit reversed even though the duplicate was sent back.

  2. delicatedisarray says:

    I remember this happening when I was in college, but in the opposite. We all got charged twice for our text books. Drained my poor little bank account and became a massive headache. I had to deal with the university and the bank. Plus everyone you had to talk with was in a bad mood since they were dealing with this problem for a thousand people at once. It majorly sucked and it took way too long to get my money back.

  3. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Ridiculous there are apparently inadequate safeguards in place to keep something like that from happening in the first place.

    • homehome says:

      Get off your high horse, mistakes happen.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Screw off.

        There are mistakes and then there are mistakes. Next time you get screwed by some company and it costs you time and money to get it fixed, are you going to accept it if they just say “oh well, mistakes happen”?

  4. brandonsavage says:

    The Bank Giveth, and the Bank Taketh Away, Blessed Be The Name Of The Direct Deposit…

  5. Nikephoros says:

    When I was college, there was a mistake and I received $1,500 in Pell Grants for a summer semester when I happened NOT to be taking any classes. I went to the bank and reported it, and also (because I was worried it was a loan that I didn’t ask for) to the office of student financial aid. I was told in both places they would take care of it.

    4 months later, at the start of fall semester, the money was still in my account. And so I kept it and paid my rent a few months in advance. Do I feel bad? Nope. It’s like reporting lost money to the police, if no one claims it, you get it back. I notified the bank and the school, which is the extent of my due diligence. Clearly, the $1,500 was more important to me than it was to them.

  6. amuro98 says:

    I had this happen to me when I was in college. In my case the bank screwed up and deposited the same check twice. Then they made the correction. Unfortunately this caused the FBI to freeze my bank account while they questioned me about this unexplained movement of several thousand dollars through my account within such a short period of time.

    Luckily the bank had sent me a letter explaining the screwup, so I faxed that to the FBI and my account was unfrozen the next day.

    This pre-9/11, so they only thought I was laundering drug money.

  7. Reading Rainbow says:

    So if I give someone access to my checking account so they can make deposits they can just as easily make withdraws? Clearly the money is going to be given back one way or another, but does the Financial Services technically have that access to get the money back without my approval?

    • 401k says:

      Take a look, it’s in a book…

    • FatLynn says:

      Yes, in this type of circumstance. I have gotten double payroll before, and the company just grabs it back the next day.

      • mistyfire says:

        That happened at my work. We were double paided one week and a few of my coworkers spent it all thinking the company wasn’t allowed to pull it back out.

        And they got overdrafts.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      This is still wrong. If they double pay you, they should have a right to get the money back, BUT only on a graceful basis by demanding you pay them back over time at no interest (or through debt collection or lawsuit if you don’t). It is the people and businesses that make mistakes that should pay ALL the penalties for this. If we don’t do that, there won’t be any incentives to keep them from making mistakes again in the future.

      When I get my paycheck from my employer, I take it to their bank and withdraw cash. I then deposit the cash in my own account. Been doing this for 3 decades.

  8. Lyn Torden says:

    Here’s a FICTIONAL story that COULD have happened:

    “I was actually in the process of switching from BoA to a local bank, because BoA is about to get this big poo award. I was waiting for the money from the school to come in because it was too late to give them my new account. When it did, I went in and did the close and got the check. I then cashed the check at the counter. Luckily they didn’t screw that up. I deposited the cash in my new bank account. Then when I got the email about the double deposit, I looked at my last printout and sure enough, there it was. But since it was in my new bank, I went the school administration office and they said I could just write them a check and all would be fine. All was fine until BoA sent me a letter demanding I redeposit money to cover the reversal, and pay an overdraft fee. I went back to BoA and told them I had already paid the school back. They didn’t listen. I went to the school and ask them why the reversed it even though I paid them back. They said the problem was because the accounts didn’t match, but they will fix it. A week later BoA says it was still not fixed and said another fee was added. Then the school says their redeposit to fix the wrong reversal was rejected because the account was not valid (well, yeah, it was closed). They printed me a letter about it. I took it to BoA who said it didn’t matter because they were still out the money since the school hadn’t sent it. Well, yeah, because you rejected it. They said I had to do the payment since it was my account. But the schools says they are only allowed to send it to the bank and cannot pay me directly. BoA charged another fee.”

    This is how the American banking system is already screwed up. Things similar to this have happened to people and it doesn’t get fixed until a judge orders them to fix it.

    This is why you need to put you money ONLY in LOCAL banks, so you can actually reach an company executive level officer who can work outside the procedures to fix stuff.

    • Kaleey says:

      Right, so that when you leave college and move across the country for a new job, you can carry a huge cashier’s check with your thousands of $$$ because you had to close your LOCAL account and move it somewhere else, and the LOCAL bank won’t let you close an account over the phone.

      Not saying that a local bank is a bad idea, but some of us needed a national chain at some point.

      • dzap says:

        Or what has been said before: Credit Union.

        Here’s the thing. I bank with Alliant Credit Union. They’re based out of Chicago, Illinois. I live in San Diego, California. and I have never set foot in one of their branches (they do have 4 in California, but the closest one for me is at LAX.). So how do I bank? At the several other credit unions that do Co-OP deposits. I use a local one for all my deposits and withdrawals. In fact, if there is a CU Service Center nearby, any CU member part of Co-OP (and almost all CUs are), can go to that branch if they have any troubles or concerns and be serviced as if you were their own member.

        And because Co-OP allows me to use any other Co-OP ATM, I have access to more ATMs than Chase, BankofAmerica, and wells Fargo, COMBINED.

        So while I opened my CU account online, and have never set foot in one of their branches, I still do business with them like I used to with my old bank (Chase) except I just get much better customer service and no monthly fees.

        When people learn to break the “big bank” habit, you’ll start to realize that there are much better alternatives.

  9. Fishnoise says:

    Once worked for a small, unhappy firm that used a direct deposit payroll company. On the payday before Christmas, we each had twice our regular pay deposited overnight. Several of the newer employees (who didn’t know our boss’s personality that well) assumed it was a holiday bonus and began spending it. Turned out it was a mistake and the owner had the extra deposits reversed as soon as she found out. There was some unhappiness with the folks who then ended up with negative balances.