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Werklund students deal with near-$600 erroneous charge

By Sophie Sutcliffe, December 13 2018 —

When a fifth-year Werklund School of Education student logged into their University of Calgary portal in October, they were in for a surprise in the form of a $588 charge to their account. The student has their tuition covered by student loans and was confused by the excess charge.

“I thought there maybe was a mistake with my loan or something like that,” said the student, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of repercussion from their faculty and potential employers. “The person I spoke to basically said, ‘It looks like that’s an overdue fee. It looks like you’re going to have to pay that right away or else it could affect your classes going forward.’ ”

As the student was about to start their practicum and was worried about the fee’s impact on their future courses, they decided to pay the fee.

But according to both the registrar’s office and Werklund itself, this fee was a mistake.

On Oct. 23, Werklund School of Education staff learned that EDUC 540 students were charged an additional tuition fee for this course,” said Werklund School of Education vice dean Michele Jacobsen in an emailed statement to the Gauntlet.  

“The Registrar’s Office is working closely with the Werklund School of Education to support students affected by the additional tuition fee assessment. The assessment was corrected as soon as it was identified and all impacted students have been contacted,” said Michelle MacKenzie, an assistant registrar at enrolment services in another emailed statement.

The student said that while they did receive an email, it was unclear that the fee they had paid was an error until a classmate sent them a message telling them to check their account.

“I [got] a message from someone in my specialization saying, ‘Hey everyone check your accounts, everyone has like a $600 fee,’ ” the student said.

At this point, they contacted the university to say that they had already paid the fee.  

“I had to go ask the Registrar’s office, who basically said there’s going to be credit on my account for next semester, which I was not happy about, because like I said, it was coming out of my savings,” said the student, who has since requested a refund. “There’s a cheque that’s hopefully going to be sent to me in the next three to six weeks.”

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