Duplicate payment snafu affects 7,000 university students

An error made by the Student Financial Services office at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) resulted in a number of students receiving duplicate payments of their financial aid funds.

UCLA spokesman Steve Ritea told KCAL9-TV that the mistake affected approximately 7,000 students. School newspaper The Daily Bruin reported that approximately $27 million was accidentally distributed. All of those who received the duplicate deposits in their bank accounts were subsequently emailed.

According to The Bruin, the overpayments were caused by a technical glitch involving two separate student billing and account systems.

"It was a problem with the timing and the way the two systems communicated with each other," Allison Baird-James, associate vice chancellor for corporate financial services and the campus controller, explained to the news source.

She added that the university is conducting an internal duplicate payments audit and taking steps to prevent the error from being repeated. These include implementing checks and balances to ensure the timing between the two systems is synchronized in the future. 

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