Officials from California State University, Los Angeles recently told 500 of its students that their grades were so low they couldn’t return to school; they had flunked out. Not really. According to an article by Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times:

All of the students were on academic probation, but they should not have received the disqualification letters, campus officials said Thursday.

The letters, sent out by the registrar’s office the week of Dec. 27, told students that their fall 2010 grade point averages and overall GPAs fell below university standards for continued enrollment. Students were also told that they could submit a petition to be reinstated after meeting with their academic advisor.

Many, many students called the school in confusion. Students are only kicked out of school if their GPA falls, basically, below 1.5.

In fact the students were only on academic probation, a special situation where students are required to meet with their advisers regularly and attend workshops to help them improve study habits. Academic probation is specifically designed to prevent students from flunking out.

Cal State LA puts students with a GPA under 2.0 on academic probation.

Only 164 students were actually supposed to receive disqualification letters.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer