Ellen Cervellon, director of the nursing program at Oikos University, said One Goh, 43, dropped out of the school a few months ago, but he had returned several times asking for a tuition refund.
Authorities said Goh burst through the back entrance of a lecture hall on Monday and held a terrified school receptionist hostage. Within moments, he started randomly firing at students, killing seven people and wounding three.
Cervellon said she believes she was the alleged gunman's primary target after she rejected his repeated requests for a full tuition refund. Police have said Goh was seeking a female administrator when he went to the campus. When he was told she wasn't there, he began shooting in classrooms.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan first confirmed Wednesday that Cervellon was the apparent target, but later in the day he said investigators believe another female administrator instead was targeted. He did not say why they believe the other school official was targeted.
Goh has been charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He also faces a special circumstance charge that could bring the death penalty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.