CBC News has learned that more than 1,890 Fanshawe College students have withdrawn from school following a deadline for a full-tuition refund.
College officials confirm that they have received approximately 1,892 student applications to withdraw as of Wednesday — a day after the deadline.
Officials told CBC News that the influx of student withdrawals is the largest the college has seen.
Students were given a two-week deadline following a five-week long college faculty strike to choose whether to drop out or not in order to be eligible for a refund.
College registrar Janice Lamoureux said more than half of the students have committed to return to the college to start in a winter or fall program. She said the college was focused on a retention strategy.
'We feel disappointed'
"We feel concerned, we feel disappointed for our students who have chosen to withdraw but we continue to focus on student retention," she said. "Our energy and focus has been on supporting our students."
Sam Sahi, who was in his second year Business finance student, dropped out on Nov. 29 after he realized condensed class material was too difficult for him.
"Classes were shortened and a lot of assignments were due. It was just all confusing and stuff like that and to do more work," he said. "I thought for me it's best to take a semester off and go in January again with a fresh mind and motivation."
Sahi will return to the college in January to restart his first semester. He said he was eligible for a full-tuition refund, and will not be paying enrolment fees.
Lamoureux said drop in sessions are offered for students who have chosen to withdraw from classes.
What a 'full tuition' refund means for Fanshawe College students:
- No refund on ancillary fees and the health plan
- The college says students had access to the gym/facilities during the strike and health coverage lasts until August
- Full refund on program supply fees worth
- A $500 deposit will not be required for students re-enrolling for winter programs