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University threatening debt collectors for fees


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Ive been sent a letter by Bath University threatening to involve debt collection agencies and possibly court action if I dont pay a £1200 tuition fee charge. Only i was never really a student there, in that I never fully registered.

 

I transferred from another university into the second year, but was never too sure about it all and so didnt have that much to do with the Uni. I attended only a few compulsory days and a few early 1st semester exams. After the exams, I decided continuing was unfeasible and wrote a letter explaining this (which they now claim they didnt receive). I had no contact since, except for this letter. Id be willing to pay a reduced fee to cover real costs incurred, but having talked to them, its obvious they wont budge. Finance just goes by dates the department give them, and the department wont alter the dates. I didnt apply for a student loan and so cant afford to pay.

 

As far as I can see they are charging me for a service I didnt receive, I have caused them hardly any extra cost (being a transfer student, i havnt taken a place another potential student would have taken), and I didnt make any agreement to pay the fees anyway (paying, or agreeing to pay is part of the registration process that i didnt do). All i did was accept the place and attend a few days.

 

Is someone legally obliged to pay the fees simply because they accepted a place, or must they first make some sort of contractual agreement, as in registering before they must pay?

 

thanks for any advice! hopefully £1200 pounds worth of thanks!!

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I'm not sure about this one though I do know that registering on the course is enough to be asked to pay fees in scottish colleges. Several people signed up for our course, got the tuition payed by SAAS and then got hit with a bill for said tuition because they didn't cancel before the end of first term. I think the fact that you sat first semester exams means that you did enough of the year to justify them asking for a years worth of tuition but i'm sure someone more knowledgable will come along and correct me if i'm wrong.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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I think the fact that you pulled out of the course at some way through it is immaterial. By registering the place and starting the course, would have meant that no one else could book it. So I don't see what arguement you would have to not pay, unfortunately. How far into the course were you when you took the exams?

 

See if anyone has any different ideas I hope I am wrong on this.

 

Uni's are getting very quick on debt collection practices and even go as far as witholding degrees until debts are paid.

Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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another thought I just had there, unless you fail and registry services kick you off the course you have to fill in special forms to leave uni. I guess that part of this would be agreeing how much tuition is due. Did you fill out these forms? If so then look through your copy and see what's being said, if not then I really don't think you have a leg to stand on, if the uni never recieved your letter then they had a student with poor attendance who stopped turning up (well that's what i gather from your OP). The fact that you were a transfer student is immaterial, someone else could have transferred into your place, universities get a lot of transfers/direct entry above first year applications.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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gizmo: thanks for replying. that makes sense, though i dont think anyone else could have taken the place anyway as i transferred into the second year (ie way after they had already alotted places). So its not like i transferred into the first year and used up a place another applicant could have had.

 

Term started oct 3rd, i first attended in november (due to late application), for about a month, had christmas holiday and then took exams in jan.

 

jen: thanks, and thats a good point about my possibly preventing someone else transferring, didnt think of that. Although, i applied really really late (term almost started) and they only just agreed to create an extra place for me after interviews etc (they said if it were any later they wouldnt have). So realistically, i think the chances are very small that if i didnt take the place, someone else might have applied after me and gotten a place. And about those forms, no i didnt fill any in, but I didnt have to fill any forms in to leave Oxford when i transferred- just a letter of withdrawal. I think it depends on the uni.

 

My main leg to stand on is that i didnt register, so am not subject to the rules/regulations of the uni (ie i didnt agree to them). I know that usually the uni just forces withdrawal if someone doesnt agree/ register before a certain date. in my case, i think they somehow overlooked the matter until quite late on and so decided to charge me instead of forcing withdrawal.

 

And morally, my leg to stand on is that i really cant see how i caused them much cost- as i said, my place was created for me- it was in addition to the 60 or whatever places that they usually allow (my £1200 was going to be a bonus on top of their needed amount). And as i was so late, i doubt i prevented another transfer student. what do you guys think? am i just wrong?

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when you say that a place was created for you that just means that you'd added to the work load of the department, they had to teach a normal class size plus you which means rearranging tutorials to accommodate an extra student and stuff. Starting in Nov and sitting first year exams is enough for you to have to pay full tuition I'm afraid. If you challenge it the uni will argue that by attending and sitting the exams you will be subject to the rules and regs of the university, I don't think that the paper work is all that important here as you recieved education and sat exams which, had you continued in the year, would have led to a qualification. If you left on medical grounds you might get a partial refund but there's no guarantee, they're entitled to all £1200 but do remember that I'm speaking in terms of Scottish students, we sign an agreement with SAAS to repay tuition.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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