Disputing tuition fees

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Disputing tuition fees

Postby ximun » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:56 am UTC

Hi all!

I recently switched universities and I have $650 sitting in my student account for two-term courses I won't be completing because of my transfer. I don't have the means nor the intention of paying. I'm disputing the tuition fees and have to fill in a student request form. I'm required to "state my request clearly" and I'm allowed to attach a letter.

How should I go about asking for the debt to be expunged? I'm not good at this and I can't afford to have my request denied.

Thanks in advance, appreciate it.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Chen » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Did you not take these courses at all? If you took part of the course they may have a policy to charge for the whole thing. I'd talk to the administration of the university directly before sending any type of request form in. This way you can determine what your rights are in this situation instead of just getting a "Rejected" form.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby ximun » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:52 am UTC

I did take and pay for the first halves. The DNE (Did Not Enter) deadline with refund was a week into the semester, at which point I still thought I had a journalism career ahead of me. I paid for 13 weeks of courses that won't translate into credits and now they expect me to give them another $650 for education I won't be receiving...
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:21 am UTC

So, you took the classes for half the semester, and paid for that half, then you dropped the classes. I'm not sure why you think you shouldn't have to pay for the second half. (I know you won't get credit for them, which seriously sucks, but you're not finishing them so you're not earning anything.)

At my school, after the 5th week of the term, you can't get any sort of refund at all and have to pay for the whole term. If your school has the same sort of policy, I don't think you can get around it.

But, like Chen said, talk to someone at the school before giving up/turning in the form. You can't lose anything by shooting the bursar office a quick e-mail.

edit: After reading Chen's second post, I realize that I must have misunderstood you. I thought you were talking only about the current semester, not a previous and a current semester. Still, if you're past the date that you're allowed to get a refund, there isn't really a reason why they should make an exception for you. They need to stick to policies like that so people aren't dropping/changing classes all the time.
Last edited by Hofstadter'sLaw on Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:41 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby merrak » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:07 am UTC

I think most schools cut off tuition refunds within a couple of weeks. Since it is usually stated in their policies, you will probably not get a refund. It couldn't hurt to state your case - but since the ball is probably not in your court you may want to handle it very carefully.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

ximun wrote:I did take and pay for the first halves. The DNE (Did Not Enter) deadline with refund was a week into the semester, at which point I still thought I had a journalism career ahead of me. I paid for 13 weeks of courses that won't translate into credits and now they expect me to give them another $650 for education I won't be receiving...


Just to clarify, the first semester you attended and paid for right? Now you started the second semester, passed the refund deadline and want a refund?

If that's the case, I find it dubious you'll get your money back. Now it never hurts to try, but in this situation I'd especially go and do it in person. A form request (or even an email) will be easy to answer with "Sorry its passed the deadline so no refunds are available". Maybe in person you can try and convince them, but even then the people you'll be talking to probably don't have the power to change policy (especially regarding money) in this manner.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Ulc » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

ximun wrote:I did take and pay for the first halves. The DNE (Did Not Enter) deadline with refund was a week into the semester, at which point I still thought I had a journalism career ahead of me. I paid for 13 weeks of courses that won't translate into credits and now they expect me to give them another $650 for education I won't be receiving...


In all likelihood you're going to lose this one. You did pass the contractual deadline where you could get a refund, and it's hardly their fault that you ended up choosing not to finish the course.

It never hurts to try, but considering the situation I'd be really, really polite about it, and preferbly talk with someone in the office that would be dealing with it before - and if you do so, you really shouldn't be using phrases like "I wont" or "no intention of paying" - all that kind of phrasing manage is to piss them off, and if they can legally deny your request, pissing them off is going to make them stamp it with the "DENIED" stamp.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby ximun » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

Hofstadter'sLaw wrote:So, you took the classes for half the semester, and paid for that half, then you dropped the classes. I'm not sure why you think you shouldn't have to pay for the second half. (I know you won't get credit for them, which seriously sucks, but you're not finishing them so you're not earning anything.)

edit: After reading Chen's second post, I realize that I must have misunderstood you. I thought you were talking only about the current semester, not a previous and a current semester. Still, if you're past the date that you're allowed to get a refund, there isn't really a reason why they should make an exception for you. They need to stick to policies like that so people aren't dropping/changing classes all the time.

merrak wrote:I think most schools cut off tuition refunds within a couple of weeks. Since it is usually stated in their policies, you will probably not get a refund. It couldn't hurt to state your case - but since the ball is probably not in your court you may want to handle it very carefully.


I don't want a refund for the first semester. I simply don't want to dish out $650 for 13 weeks of classes I won't be attending.

Ulc wrote:It never hurts to try, but considering the situation I'd be really, really polite about it, and preferbly talk with someone in the office that would be dealing with it before - and if you do so, you really shouldn't be using phrases like "I wont" or "no intention of paying" - all that kind of phrasing manage is to piss them off, and if they can legally deny your request, pissing them off is going to make them stamp it with the "DENIED" stamp.


Good point. I sent the Ombuds office an e-mail to ask what my options were and did mention I had no intention of paying. Thankfully it's independent of the university's administrative structure so I should be okay for that.

Interests kicked in on Feb. 1 and apparently they get a collection agency involved after student debts haven't been paid for a while. So I'm crossing my fingers. Thanks for your advice so far.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

ximun wrote:I don't want a refund for the first semester. I simply don't want to dish out $650 for 13 weeks of classes I won't be attending.


Its akin to eating half a meal and refusing to pay for it. Or ordering a meal, not eating any of it and not wanting to pay for it. Unfortunately things rarely work like that.

Good point. I sent the Ombuds office an e-mail to ask what my options were and did mention I had no intention of paying. Thankfully it's independent of the university's administrative structure so I should be okay for that.

Interests kicked in on Feb. 1 and apparently they get a collection agency involved after student debts haven't been paid for a while. So I'm crossing my fingers. Thanks for your advice so far.


I'm going to say it again. Go there in person. Or at the very least call them. Emails can easily be ignored. Having something in front of you (or speaking directly do you) is far more difficult to ignore. Yes talking directly to people is more difficult than sending an email. Sending an email means you don't have to deal with conversations and the like and you aren't on the spot for thinking about what to do. But they are not good at getting things done quickly, especially with people you don't know. Its hard to ignore a phone call or someone standing in front of you. Its not hard to ignore and email, even if its intentional.
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Re: Disputing tuition fees

Postby Ulc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:09 pm UTC

ximun wrote:Good point. I sent the Ombuds office an e-mail to ask what my options were and did mention I had no intention of paying. Thankfully it's independent of the university's administrative structure so I should be okay for that.

Interests kicked in on Feb. 1 and apparently they get a collection agency involved after student debts haven't been paid for a while. So I'm crossing my fingers. Thanks for your advice so far.


And here's the thing, your "no intention of paying" is going to fuck you over a great deal if they deny your request. Debt is a nasty thing, particularly when it's not student loans (those are just extremely unpleasant), and debt collection agencies tend to screw you really, really hard.

Like Chen saying, it's sort of like ordering a meal and then leaving just before it's served with the comment "No longer hungry" - you signed up for some expense, passed the legal "no take-backsies", and is now trying to take it back. The world rarely works out that way.
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