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Long Island Students Exasperated After Learning Their ACT Answer Sheets Got Lost In The Mail; 'Are You Kidding Me?'

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Dozens of parents and students at a Catholic boys school in Mineola are frustrated after the students' ACT answer sheets went missing.

As CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reports, for many students, taking the ACT college entrance exam is one of the most important parts of the high school experience. Andrew Cunningham studied for weeks and spent hundreds of dollars on a prep course.

"It's a pretty big deal. You want to do the best you can," he said. "It was the second time. I was trying to get above a certain score, so I was really stressing about the section I missed last time."

Cunningham was one of 126 juniors at Chaminade High School in Mineola who took the ACT in April. The tests were then shipped out via FedEx. Many students and parents were shocked then this week when they learned the answer sheets were lost in transit.

"I was just like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Cunningham said. "Really frustrated. Really angry."

"I felt bad for my son," Andrew's mother Patricia Cunningham said. "All that work that went into it, all the money, all the time, doesn't mean anything now."

Chaminade High School says the news has been devastating for students.

"Nothing ACT does in any remediation is gonna make up for that lost time," said Daniel Petruccio, assistant principal of guidance at Chaminade High School.

Some, like Cunningham, were taking the test for the second or third time, hoping for a slightly better score, and others...

"Some students in recruitment situations are looking for a number to give the coach so they can be recruited, and now they don't have a number," Petruccio said.

ACT tells CBS2 itt apologizes to all of the impacted students, adding situations like this one are extremely rare. It's offering students the option to be retested for free, and refunding fees associated with the test. ACT adds it will provide students with letters they can give to colleges explaining why their scores are unavailable.

Here's the ACT's full statement:

Unfortunately, a package containing 126 answer sheets from the April 17 ACT test date at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY was lost in transit. Packages do sometimes go missing briefly in the shipping process but are often promptly located. We worked with the ACT test coordinator and our shipping vendor to attempt to locate the package, but after an extensive search, it was deemed missing.

ACT very much regrets that students have been affected by this unfortunate situation.

We will continue to investigate the situation, but in the meantime, here's what we are doing for affected students:

  • We have set up a free retest date for them on June 24 at the same test center (Chaminade High School).
  • If they can't retest on June 24, they may change their registration to any future ACT national test date for free.
  • We will be refunding their registration fees for the April 17 test date.
  • If they paid for the Test Information Release (TIR), those fees will be refunded.

Additionally, if students are facing college or scholarship application deadlines, we have provided them with a letter they may send to colleges as verification they were present and tested on April 17 but, through no fault of their own, their scores are not available.

Again, ACT sincerely regrets that these students have been affected by this very unfortunate situation.

Andrew Cunningham plans to test again but is now worried about how he'll do.

"They refunded you, but does it make up for it?" Dhillon asked.

"No, it doesn't really. Because it's a whole new test. Like, I thought I did really good on the test, that was an easier one. Now it's going to be completely different, it's going to be probably harder," Cunningham said.

He adds nothing will bring back the hours of studying he did, or the money spent on his prep course.

CBS2 reached out to FedEx for its response on what happened. We did not receive a statement back.

Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. 

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