Paying Those Scary Tuition Fees

Obviously we like to think only about the fun stuff – classes, conferences, parties – but, as the old adage goes, money makes the world go round. Tuition fees may be soul-sucking, bank-breaking expenses, but they are an inevitable part of going to school. Here are some quick tips on how deal with these pesky things in order to move on to the more exciting parts of the grad experience.

How to Pay

Three easy methods to pay your fees are online/telephone banking, mailing a personal cheque or money order, and in person. If you already have an account with a Canadian chartered bank, just set up Concordia University as a payee and use your student ID number as the Concordia account number. Now you can pay your fees like you would your bills online, on the phone, or at an ATM.

You can also mail a personal or certified cheque, money order or bank draft.  It must be made payable to Concordia University and your student ID number must be written on both the front and back of the cheque. The address to send it to is:

Concordia University
c/o Student Accounts Office
Postal Box 339
Place d’Armes Post Office
Montreal, QC H2Y 3L9

Lastly, you can also make in-person payments at the Birks Student Service Centre, which is located in room LB-185, in the library building. There’s a less simple way to make a payment, via wire transfers from international banks, but you need more info for that here.

When to Pay

A simple rule of thumb to remember: tuition and compulsory fees are always due the last day of the first month of the term. For the Fall term, that’s September 30; for Winter, it’s January 31; for summer, May 31. If you miss the deadline, you will be charged a $75 late fee, plus interest charges every month. That’s like a month’s supply of Mr. Noodles, so let’s avoid it.

How Often to Pay

Tuition and compulsory fees are charged at a rate of 11.25 credits per term (for full-time students) until all nominal credits – in our program, 45 credits – have been paid. Huh?

What this means is that you will get charged for 11.25 credits for the first four terms. (The price per credit for 2012-2013 is $80.73 for Quebec residents, $203.74 for non-residents, and $493.86 for international students.)

For the fifth and sixth term, you will only be charged for compulsory fees. If you’re past six terms and have not yet graduated (sidebar: why?!), you will be charged a continuation fee of $400 plus compulsory fees for every term after that.

How to Avoid Paying

Fees will be charged for every term as long as you are registered in the program. If, however, you will not be taking any classes during a given term and need that money to finance your spelunking trip, or won’t have the money until after your apple picking gig, there is an alternative to avoid paying fees for the term.

You have to apply for a leave of absence from the program, which must be approved by the Graduate Program Director. In a leave of absence with access, a $150 flat fee will be charged for the term and you will still have access to the library, university, and student services. In a leave of absence without access, no fees will be charged, but you will not have access to these services.

Finally, find solace in the fact that, unlike taxes, tuition fees won’t be around forever. Happy paying!