CHANGES TO CREDIT CARD USE AT UFV



October 2010



Hi, I'm Jackie Hogan, Chief Financial Officer at UFV.

You may have heard speculation about UFV joining the dozens of other universities in Canada that are ending the use of credit card payments.  It's true.  UFV will no longer accept credit payment for domestic tuition, as of January 1, 2011.  We're letting you know now so that you have time to prepare for this change.

Why?

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

Each year, UFV pays a significant amount (nearly half a million dollars) in transaction fees to credit card companies. In order to reduce these costs, and thus make available more resources to student education and services, we have decided to limit the use of credit cards for tuition payments as of January 1, 2011.

Making this adjustment will save UFV hundreds of thousands of dollars, dollars that can now go into continued delivery of the quality programs and intimate learning environment that make UFV such a special place.

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



Frequently asked questions


  • What exactly does this change impact?
    The January 1, 2011 change applies to domestic tuition (i.e. tuition paid by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants for study at UFV). It does not apply to application fees, transcript fees, or graduation fees. UFV will also continue to accept credit card payments for Continuing Studies courses and international student tuition.

    After January 1, 2011, students will still be able to pay domestic tuition and semester fees through online banking, debit payments, cash, and cheques.
  • Why can’t I pay my fees with my credit card?
    We want to keep your dollars where they really matter – in your learning environment. As our overall costs increase and our funding does not, we are concentrating on reducing operational costs without cutting services or programs for students.
  • When does the change in credit card payment go into effect?
    UFV will no longer accept credit card payment for domestic tuition, semester fees and the registration deposit as of January 1, 2011.
  • Can I use a credit card to pay my fees for Winter semester before January 1, 2011?
    Yes, UFV will continue to accept credit card payments for fees right up to December 31, 2010.
  • What happens when my student loan does not cover my fees, and I don’t have enough money to cover the remaining cost?
    Speak to a Financial Aid advisor about your situation and the options that might be available to you. Please remember: apply for student loans at least six weeks before your first day of classes each semester 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 UFV plan to do with the money the university saves by not accepting credit card payments?
    Each year, inflation increases and the university’s operational funding remains static. UFV is looking for innovative ways to ensure that education and services for students are not affected. The money saved from not paying “merchant fees” on credit card transactions will now stay in the university, where it will be used for education and service delivery to students.
  • Why doesn’t UFV negotiate a better deal with the credit card companies instead of eliminating the use of credit cards to pay tuition?
    We have already negotiated with our payment processors to obtain the lowest possible merchant fee rate.
  • Why doesn’t UFV pass on the costs of the use of credit cards as a surcharge?
    Public post-secondary institutions like UFV do not have the legal right to pass on fees to students by raising the cost of tuition to match the credit card fee.
  • How do I pay my fees?
    There are actually quite a few ways that you can pay your tuition, including online banking.
  • 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.
  • Can I still pay the application fee with a credit card?
    Yes.
  • Can I still pay my registration deposit with a credit card?
    No.
  • Can I still use my credit card to order transcripts?
    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 than 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 UFV 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 to set yourself up to pay via online banking.
  • Can I still pay for my books and supplies with a credit card?
    Yes, the UFV campus 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 a campus to pay my tuition. How can I pay my fees?
    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 via mail.
  • I want to register for a continuing studies course. Can I still use my credit card?
    Yes! UFV continues to accept credit card payment for all continuing studies courses.
  • 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 test fees and many other fees that you may need to pay while at UFV. If you’re not sure about whether you can use a credit card, please ask one of the staff at the relevant department.

Questions/comments?

For more information, please contact my office:
Jackie Hogan
Chief Financial Officer
604-864-4676
jackie.hogan@ufv.ca


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