Queen’s moves to per-term billing

Starting in the 2015-16 academic year, Queen’s will introduce per-term billing for students.

Students will pay their fall term fees for courses on Sept. 1, and winter term fees by Jan. 10.

A deferral period will remain for students waiting for OSAP payments to come through.

Residence fees and meal plans will also be billed per-term, on Sept. 30 for the fall semester and Jan. 31 for the winter semester. However, all student activity fees will be billed in the fall term with a payment deadline of Sept. 30.

University Registrar John Metcalfe said the shift to per-term billing was required by provincial regulation only for students who receive financial assistance from the government, but the University chose to apply it to all students for equity purposes.

“Universities were free to continue to charge one lump-sum payment, but we felt that that would be — that equity was more important than the advantage to the University of charging some people all of it upfront, so we moved everyone to per-term billing,” he said.

“Having that kind of one population doing one thing and another part of the population having to do another seemed to us to drive a wedge that didn’t need to be there.”

He added that there are some disadvantages the University will face due to these changes.

“The disadvantages [for the University] are quite considerable because we don’t get the same cash-flow as we have before, and so we will likely have to do other things to make sure that we can pay all of our bills every month in the first term,” he said. “Lots of universities invest that money and that generates a revenue which can be used for various university purposes and that just simply won’t be there.”

Metcalfe said there likely won’t be any disadvantages for students with these coming changes.

“It seems to me it’s all on the benefit side,” he said.

“The [Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance] lobbied the government for this change and so I think part of it is a response to that lobbying — the students wanted it.”

Philip Lloyd, the AMS vice-president of university affairs, said the AMS commends the registrar on this change.

“Tuition is the largest expense that an undergraduate student pays to the university,” said Lloyd, ConEd ’13.

“The AMS supports the action by the University to per-term billing on tuition, as it is a much more flexible and accessible billing-system for students without having a significant impact on the operations of the university.”

— With files from Natasa Bansagi

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