Student spends thousands after accidentally given $1M in financial aid

By: Bob D Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated:

A university student in South Africa received an extraordinary amount of financial aid by mistake -- $1 million worth -- and spent more than $60,000 of it before authorities realized the error, CNN reported.

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The mistake occurred at Walter Sisulu University. The $1 million was accidentally loaded onto the student’s financial aid debit card. It was supposed to be a $100 stipend for food and books and immediately available to the student, according to Intellimali, the company responsible for issuing the student debit cards. Four zeros were added to the direct deposit, CNN reported.

Another student, who noticed the woman’s suddenly extravagant spending habits, alerted university officials. Intellimali and university officials claim the student spent tens of thousands of dollars in a few weeks, and are now examining her transaction records to determine the total amount, CNN reported.

The student’s account has been blocked and the remaining balance has been retracted, CNN reported.

In compliance with South African law, university officials declined to release the student's personal details but have confirmed she is not responding to media inquiries and has made no official statement, CNN reported. A formal investigation has begun and Intellimali officials said they would take legal action against the student for misappropriation of funds.

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