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Peter Lockie, Vice President Administration and Chief Finance Officer.October 8, 2009

Hi, I’m Peter Lockie, Vice President Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Camosun College.

It’s true. The college will no longer accept credit card payment for domestic tuition, as of January 1, 2010.

Why?

The change is aimed at reducing operational costs at the college, without cutting services or programs for students.

Each year the college pays a significant amount (approximately $475,000 in 2008/09) in transaction fees to credit card companies. In order to reduce these costs, and thus make available more resources to student education and services, the college administration decided to limit the use of credit cards for tuition payments as of January 1, 2010.

We anticipate the change will save the college between $250,000-300,000 each year. These are funds which the college would normally lose – but will now go into continued delivery of the quality programs and services for which Camosun is so well known.

We’re not alone in doing this. UBC, SFU, UCalgary and a growing number of colleges and universities across the country no longer accept credit cards.

What’s in, what’s out?

The January 1, 2010 change in policy applies to domestic tuition. It does not apply to the program application fee, or the registration deposit which may still be paid by credit card. Likewise, we will continue to accept credit card payments for Continuing Education courses.

After January 1, 2010, students will still be able to pay tuition fees through online banking, debit payments, cash and cheques.

Frequently asked questions

  • Why can’t I pay my fees with my credit card?
    The policy change is aimed at reducing operational costs at the college, without cutting services or programs for students. See the message above for more details on what we’re trying to do.

  • When does the change in credit card payment go into effect?
    The college will no longer accept credit card payment for domestic fees as of January 1, 2010.

  • Can I use a credit card to pay my fees for Winter/Q2 before January 1, 2010?
    Yes, the college will continue to accept credit card payments, for fees right up to January 01, 2010.

  • What happens when my student loan does not cover my fees, and I don’t have enough money to cover the remaining cost?
    There may be a variety of reasons why you did not get enough money, so speak to a Financial Aid Advisor about your situation. A Financial Aid Advisor can assist in sorting through options that might be available to you. Please remember: apply for student loans at least six weeks before your first day of classes each term so you know how much you are eligible to receive and can plan appropriately.

  • Since I can’t use my credit card and my student loan hasn’t arrived yet, can I have my fees deferred?
    Your payment options include: using a credit card cheque or cash advance from your credit card to pay your fees; or borrowing money and repaying it when your student loan/grant arrives. If extenuating circumstances have caused a delay, please speak to a Financial Aid Advisor. Remember that your student loan application can be submitted before you are enrolled in courses. Early application ensures student loan/grant funds are available when needed.

  • What does Camosun plan to do with the money the college saves by not accepting credit card payments?
    In this year of economic downturn, the college is looking for innovative ways to ensure that education and services for students are not affected. The money saved (between $250,000 and $300,000) from not paying “merchant fees” on credit card transactions will now stay in the college, where it is used for education and service delivery to our students.

  • Why doesn’t the college negotiate a better deal with the credit card companies instead of eliminating the use of credit cards to pay tuition?
    Good idea. In fact, the college has already negotiated with our payment processors to obtain the lowest possible merchant fee rate.

  • Why doesn’t Camosun College pass on the costs of the use of credit cards as a surcharge?
    Public post-secondary institutions, including Camosun College, don’t have the legal right to pass on fees to students by raising the cost of tuition to match the credit card fee; we’re simply not permitted to tack on a surcharge to cover credit card transactions.

  • How do I pay my fees?
    There are actually quite a few ways that you can pay your tuition, including online banking. Options and instructions...

  • Am I able to use credit card cheques to pay my tuition?
    If your credit card company issues cheques or cash advances, then sure, you could go this way. Word of advice: check with your credit card company about any financing charges that may apply. All payment options...

  • Can I still pay my application fee with a credit card?
    Yes.

  • Can I still pay my registration deposit with a credit card?
    Yes.

  • I am an international student. How can I pay my tuition?
    Because international students may not have the same banking options as domestic students, you are permitted to pay by credit card. Additionally, international student tuition and fees are significantly higher that domestic tuition and fees, and these amounts are well beyond the limit set by most banks for individual withdrawals from debit accounts (and certainly well beyond the daily limit that the college recommends that students establish for their bank cards).

  • I have a daily limit on my debit card. What are my options?
    Please contact your bank regarding options to increase your daily limit or set yourself up to pay via online banking. All options available for fee payment...

  • I don’t feel comfortable paying my fees online; how can I pay?
    There are many options for paying your tuition, including in person and through snail mail. All options...

  • Can I still pay for my books with a credit card?
    Yes, the Camosun College bookstore continues to accept credit cards for all purchases, and has no plans to change this method of payment.

  • I am an apprentice student and need to pay my tuition 60 days prior to the start of the course. I live out of town and am unable to visit the college to pay my tuition. How can I pay my fees?
    You still have options! The easiest way to pay your tuition is through online or telephone banking. Also, you can send us a cheque, bank draft, or money order through snail mail.

  • I want to register for a continuing education course. Can I still use my credit card?
    Yes! Camosun College continues to accept credit card payment for all continuing education courses, including these credentialed certificate programs: Activity Assistant, AutoCAD Graphics, Hospital Unit Clerk, Leadership Development, Medical Laboratory Assistant, MS Office, Travel Counselling and Web Foundations.

  • I’m planning to write an assessment test and I know there is a cost. Can I use my credit card to pay for this?
    Yes, you can still use your credit card to pay for your assessment fees and many other fees that you may need to pay while at the college. If you’re not sure about whether you can use a credit card, please just ask one of the staff at the relevant department.

Questions/comments?

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact my office:

Peter Lockie
Vice President Administration and Chief Financial Officer
250–370–3037
lockie@camosun.bc.ca

Last updated: June 9, 2015 8:35 am

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