VICTORIA -- British Columbia students whose Grade 12 provincial exams were incorrectly graded in 2019 can now apply for financial compensation from the province.

The B.C. Ministry of Education announced Monday that letters of apology are being sent out to the thousands of students affected by the errors in reporting final test scores. In addition, students who can prove they incurred financial losses or expenses due to the June 2019 grading error can now apply for reimbursement here.

The apology and reimbursement were the final two recommendations in a report released last year by ombudsperson Jay Chalke.

The report found that more than 18,000 exam scores were filed incorrectly by the province, with roughly half of them being graded too low and half graded too high.

The ombudsperson's investigation found some students who were applying to post-secondary education may have had their course registrations declined because of the province's errors.

The education ministry says an independent third party will assess all applications for compensation.

Applicants will be notified of their claim decisions and the reasons for acceptance or denial. The process will also include an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Claim submissions will be open to students from March 1 to May 24. The province says compensation will be issued by August.