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Registration fee surprises, angers students

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The announcement, or lack thereof, that students would lose their spot in class if they didn't pay a $200 registration fee by July 3 was met with anger by many students.

The deadline for the fee has since been extended until July 17.

Eeshita Arora, a third-year biological sciences student, said she didn't mind paying the fee, which goes towards tuition, but wished she had known about it earlier.

"It wasn't posted anywhere, they did send an email out after they extended the deadline, but it's by word of mouth that I heard about it," said Arora.

Although an email was sent out in late March, Enrolment and Registrar associate vice-provost David Johnston admitted they had missed an important communication.

"We had planned to send out a notice towards the end of the registration appointment window and we missed that, and that was my mistake. It should have gone out, clearly, and that's a big part of why we extended the deadline," said Johnston.

To further accommodate the lack of communication, students who miss the July 17 deadline will receive a personal notification before they are withdrawn from their desired classes.

The U of C had previously required a registration fee before the switch to PeopleSoft two years ago and has been among the minority since then.

The University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia both require registration fees, and Mount Royal College requires students to pay their full tuition by mid-August, noted Johnston.

"[The fee] helps us understand who is coming in the fall," said Johnston.

"Students make a clear indication that their intention is to come in September. It frees up seats in classes that might normally be held up until the end of September. We're trying to get people to make a decision early."

That, as well as the move to stagger drop and register dates starting this fall, will allow more students to get into needed classes, he said.

Students' Union president Charlotte Kingston said her primary concern with the fee was the lack of communication and noted it would benefit students by allowing the registrar to better schedule classes because they have "a real sense of who is going to show up."

Kingston said there are two potential problems students should be aware of. The fee comes at the same time as summer semester tuition is due and those students who depend on student loans to pay tuition won't receive their loans until after fall semester starts.

Students who aren't able to pay the fee at this time can appeal to Student and Enrollment Services for an extension.

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Comments

Politicalgary talked about this issue on the day of the original fee deadline. It talks about the inability for the SU to do anything, and the lack of communication (lack of comunication here means a bombardment of emails over the course of the summer, while the one that mattered was hidden within the spam) on the part of the university.

http://politicalgary.blogspot.com/2009/07/superficial-can-su-do-anything-about.html