Feasible fees

Students to pay full tuition by Sept.1

Under the registrar’s new plan, full fall-winter tuition fees will be due on Sept. 1st of each year. Student fees and residence fees will be due on Sept. 30.
Under the registrar’s new plan, full fall-winter tuition fees will be due on Sept. 1st of each year. Student fees and residence fees will be due on Sept. 30.
Photo: 

The new administrative and student system replacing QCARD might change how students budget for their education.

In previous years students have had to pay a minimum registration fee by Aug. 1 with the remaining balance due Sept. 30. Next year the minimum registration period will be eliminated from the administrative system and students will be required to pay their full fall-winter tuition amount by Sept. 1.

Although all students are required to pay their full tuition by the designated date, deferrals will be made to students with Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and students with provincial and international loans.

Students who have not paid their full fee or deferred their payment, will be charged a late payment interest rate of prime plus three per cent beginning on Sept. 30, just as they were this year and in years past. But they will also face three new sanctions. They could be assessed the $150 late registration fee, blocked from adding courses during add-drop period as well as be refused student card validation.

As in previous years, any student who has not paid their tuition in full by Sept. 1 will be barred from adding new courses and could lose spots in ones they’ve already registered in.

Associate University Registrar (Records and Services) Andrew Ness said that if a course is full, the students who’ve paid their full tuition will get precedence.

“When another student who has paid (or deferred) selects the same course … [it] essentially ‘bumps’ the other student [who has not paid their full tuition] out of it,” Ness told the Journal via email. “Once they have either paid fees or completed the commitment process their enrolment restrictions will be removed immediately.”

Fraser MacPherson, ASUS representative to the AMS and ArtSci ’12, said he learned about the change when University Registrar Jo-Anne Brady presented at the Oct. 14 AMS Assembly.

“The biggest problem is that these changes have not really been brought forward to students,” he said. “Students at large haven’t been consulted about how the tuition changes are going to affect them.”

MacPherson said it’s indicative that financial accessibility hasn’t been part of the conversation.

“It just wasn’t addressed at all and it was explicitly stated that the tuition structure was made because it was the best financial practice for the University,” he said, adding that if financial accessibility was a priority for the University, there would have been discussions with students.

Laura Stairs, ArtSci ’12, said she heard about the change from a friend who was at the AMS Assembly where the changes to the administrative system were presented. She said that since few students are aware of the change, it’s important for administration to reach out.

AMS Academic Affairs Commission (AAC) Kieran Slobodin said it’s important for students to understand that this could impact how they pay for their university education and be prepared for the change.

“The biggest effect on students will be adapting to the new culture of paying tuition on the first of September as opposed to the 30th,” he said.

As the head of AAC, Slobodin said he’s been working with the University Registrar Jo-Anne Brady to mitigate the effects this change will have on students.

“Students have quite understandably been upset and concerned about students’ income flow and the demands of paying in one lump sum. I have expressed these concerns to the OUR [Office of the University Registrar],” he said, adding that one of the central concerns in this debate is that not every student will have their tuition ready by the payment period.

“[It] is a pressing issue for us,” he said. “But we’re confident that we can work with the registrar to making sure that the accommodations are in place.”

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.