Monday, June 4, 2012

Credit card changes explained

By Karen Maynes, VP Finance and Administration

Recently, the College announced several changes to fees and deadlines that will affect our students. We wanted to make sure everyone was notified in advance, so we sent out updates about the changes through the mail, as well as through email and online.

One important change to note is that we are no longer accepting credit cards as payment for tuition and registration fees. Several students have questioned why this change was made, so I thought it important to provide some background context to the decision.

The BC government has said that it will cut post-secondary education funding by $50 million over the next three years. Colleges and universities are expected to cover this gap through administrative savings. As a result, Douglas has been looking for areas where we can save money with minimal impact on services to students. After analyzing the situation, we concluded that one of the best ways would be to stop accepting credit card payments for tuition and registration fees.

Currently, Douglas College is paying credit card companies $400,000 in processing fees every year. Because of these high fees, most post secondary institutions in BC have already stopped accepting credit cards for tuition, including: Capilano University, Camosun College, University of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and others.

While we recognize that removing the ability to pay by credit card is an inconvenience to many students, this is a substantial cost savings that will enable Douglas to focus on the delivery of our quality programs.

We apologize for the inconvenience. To help make up for it, we are giving you more time to pay your fees, and our new flexible refund policy reduces penalties if you have to drop classes. As always, we offer many other payment options, including several ways to pay online.

More information about the changes to fee payments can be found here.