Students surprised by $100 deposit
UPEI's Student Union president says students are having trouble paying a new $100 deposit on tuition.
The deposit has to be paid before they can sign up for classes. Student Union president Brandon MacKenzie says four students have filed official grievances about the new deposit, and about 20 more have called him to complain about it.
Mackenzie says $100 may not seem like much, but but the surprise expense is too much for some students.
"It hurts the students who are fighting to pay for their courses, dragging themselves through university," says Mackenzie, "the students who rely on working over the summer months to pay off their previous year."
Mackenzie says many students rely on government loans to pay their fees, but the deposit has to be paid before those loans clear at the bank.
Vianne Timmins, vice-president of academic development at UPEI, says the university responded quickly to the issue by setting up an appeal process.
"They meet with representatives in the registrar's office and accounting office and they fill out a form and it's handled very efficiently and quickly," says Timmins. "A student who doesn't get at their summer job until July - so you might not get a paycheque until let's say the third week in July - so that may be difficult for that student and they can notify us that they're coming and ask for consideration of their financial situation if that's the case. So we do have a system in place to accommodate those students if it's needed."
Timmins says the deposit is a necessity because in recent years students have started applying to multiple universities. She says the deposit allows adminstrators to plan for the coming academic year.
Students have until August 15 to make their deposits. Timmins says next year the deadline will be even earlier.