Admin sets fee deadline too soon
Students feel disadvantaged registering for courses early and paying well before they begin
When it comes to signing up for classes, sometimes it’s easy to realize that a wrong decision has been made. Unfortunately, withdrawing from classes also means withdrawing from any hope you’ll get a full refund.
Mount Royal’s fee deadline for the winter semester is set at Dec. 1, well before the semester begins. When you pay your fees, a transaction percentage is taken by a third-party (usually PayPal). This percentage you do not get back.
Duane Anderson, Vice-President of Administrative Services, says that the administration sets the deadline, and that it’s determined to, “maximize the enrollment levels in all of our program and course offerings and to attempt to ensure all students who want to enroll in any course at Mount Royal get the option to do so.”
At the University of Calgary (U of C), students don’t have to pay fees until Jan. 23, allowing them to attend classes first to see if they like them. This way they only end up paying for the classes they want to take. Mount Royal fees are due much earlier, meaning that students pay for classes they don’t even know they’ll like and won’t receive a full payment return if they drop out.
If it isn’t bad enough, Mount Royal students only have a short period of time in order to get all of their money back, which appears as a “W”, for withdraw, on their transcript.
Anderson said that the current deadline ensures that all seats are filled, which may not happen if students are able to pay at a later date.
“A later fee deadline, after the course begins, could potentially result in students becoming de-registered for non-payment at a point at which it would be too late for other interested students to add the course, and the seat would remain unnecessarily empty.”
Unfortunately, this process has made it hard on students like Nathan Lawley, first-year student in English. He said he receives student loans so the withdraw is automatic and he doesn’t have to think much of it. However, pulling out of a class has messed up his loans.
“If I had that extra time I could’ve gotten the class I wanted. Now instead I have to visit student and financial aid to figure everything out.”
Catalina Bricen, third-year journalism student, said that it’s also very stressful having to deal with student fees in the middle of exams.
“We’re already burdened by final exams and then we have to worry about paying fees. If we don’t pay then we’re dropped out of those classes.”
Bricen says that if Mount Royal employed what the U of C does in terms of paying fees later, it could potentially heed more positive results.
“Students who take classes they actually want care more. They have higher success rates.”