Aurora College student fights to get full tuition refund

An Aurora College student wants a full refund of his tuition, after transferring to a program that's free.

'This is my hard earned money that I've saved up and I've spent my savings,' says Braeden Kieron Moore

Braeden Kieron Moore was transferred into a program that doesn't charge tuition and now wants previously paid tuition back. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

An Aurora College student is seeking a full refund for his tuition after switching to a program that's free.

Braeden Kieron Moore, a first year student at the Yellowknife campus, initially attended the college's University and College Access program which costs $1,500.

After dropping a mandatory class on Oct. 13, Moore says the registrar's office automatically transferred him to a different program — the Adult Literacy and Basic Education (ALBE) program, which doesn't have tuition.

"I didn't decide myself, it was decided for me to go into the ALBE program," said Moore. 

The Adult Literacy and Basic Education program, which isn't available for NWT Student Financial Assistance, is free for students through an agreement between Aurora College and the territory's education department.

Emails between Moore and the college's registrar office show he was reimbursed $750.

But Moore is fighting to get a full refund.

"They've been quoting policies at me and said I should be happy with what I'm getting," said Moore.

"This is my hard earned money that I've saved up and I've spent my savings."

Moore makes deadlines

The deadline for Aurora College students to drop courses is Oct. 13, for a 50 per cent refund on tuition.

I'm going to be getting my $1,500 back one way or another.- Braeden Kieron Moore

The college's Vice President of Student Affairs Jeff O'Keefe said policies and procedures do not allow 100 per cent refunds after classes have started. At best, the school offers a 50 per cent refund before a third of the program is complete.

The deadline to withdraw from the University and College Access program was Oct. 20.

Moore made both deadlines, and says since he's now in a program that doesn't charge tuition, he wants his money back. 

"There's two separate things that we have to consider in a situation like that. One is withdrawal and one is starting up another program," said O'Keefe. 

But O'Keefe says he's not able to specifically comment on Moore's situation.

"[The refund policy] is not up for revision at the moment so I'm not sure where it stands on the schedule to be revised," said O'Keefe.

Taking it to the minister

Moore said he plans on taking the issue to the education minister, Alfred Moses.

"I'm not happy with what's been going on," said Moore.

"I feel like they're just beating around the bush and they're not giving me direct answers and quoting policies and trying to scare me.

"I'm going to be getting my $1,500 back one way or another."

Moore said he plans on transferring to Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. in January.


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