After some stressful months, two former students who dropped out because of the strike in December have received their full tuition refunds.
“I got my money back (in March 2018) after a series of emails to the financial aid department,” said Kenna Rose, a former hair styling student. “I didn’t receive any OSAP so I have all the money, save the cost of my kit.”
Krista Pearson, the college’s registrar, confirmed in an email to the Times on March 28, that students with student loans “were advised to check with the National Student Loan Service Centre if they expected to receive a refund after loan repayment. Such assessment is completed by the National Student Loan Service Centre.”
Hunter Ryan, a former journalism student, was among those received OSAP and found out April 9 that the money was sent to that centre.
“I just wish someone from the college would have contacted me back to say that’s what would happen instead of me worrying,” said Ryan.
However, the registrar’s office defended the process of tuition refunds.
“The processing of the refund would depend upon the student circumstance,” said Pearson, in an email exchange on March 28.
If the student paid their fees without a loan, they should have received the money by cheque, “a few weeks after Dec. 5,” according to Pearson.
The primary place where the college kept students up-to-date about the work stoppage was the website http://www.algonquincollege.com/strikeinfo/. As for communicating with students, the college said in an email to the Times April 16 that it kept students informed every step of the way.
“During the work stoppage students received regular email updates from not only the Registrar’s Office, but also from the Vice President, Academic, and also President Cheryl Jensen,” said an email from Ruth Dunley, manager, communications. “Information was also provided through all the College’s social media platforms and was available in person at the Registrar’s Office and via the student info portal.”
The college also provided a special email address for students to send any questions that had not been addressed by other means, allowing students to get answers to their specific questions almost immediately.
“The College received hundreds of these questions from students and answered every one. All of these methods of communication and support were available not only during the work stoppage, but also well after its end,” wrote Dunley.