UMSU Successfully Lobbies U of M for Extended Tuition Payment Deadline
University of Manitoba students will see an extended tuition payment deadline implemented in Fall 2018. The new deadline is set for approximately 10 business days after the end of the revision period, rather than during it. The revision period, when students are able to make timetable changes without penalty at the beginning of each term, ends on Sept. 19th, 2018. The new tuition fee deadline will fall on October 3rd, 2018.
The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) is proud to have successfully lobbied the University Administration to extend the deadline. The new deadline will not only benefit students by decreasing stress and giving extra time to provide tuition payment, but will also eliminate administrative issues by allowing University staff to address tuition payments after other student account fees and processes are finalized.
“We are extremely pleased with the expedited timeline to complete this initiative. With the threat of tuition increases upon us, it was necessary to establish an extended timeframe for students to be able to pay their tuition,” said Tanjit Nagra, UMSU President. “With these improvements, accessing both UMSU and U of M services will be much easier for all students, and processes for opt-out refunds at the beginning of each term will be much more efficient.”
In particular, the extended deadline will provide some relief to the unique challenges faced by International Students, who may have difficulties paying tuition fees that are about three times higher than domestic students. In addition to volatile exchange rates, arranging continental banking transactions can take extra time to process, causing their accounts to be put on hold due to payment delay. Subsequently, account holds would restrict them from accessing certain campus services.
The motion for UMSU to advocate for an extended fee payment deadline for International Students—put forward by UMSU’s International Students’ Representative, Chris Otisi—was passed by UMSU Council on Sept. 28th, 2017. UMSU penned a letter to the University’s Comptroller in October 2017, requesting to implement a deadline extension. As a result, UMSU was able to work with the University to help refine larger changes being undertaken to improve the fee payment process in the best interest of ALL students.
“This motion was initially created as I sought ways to make tuition payment for International Students more convenient. I thought if I cannot reduce their tuition, I might as well make paying these high fees easier for them. I proposed an extension on fee deadlines as well as a limit on late fee interest,” said Otisi. “This is a win for UMSU and we are all excited to see this be approved.”
In addition to the new tuition deadline, UMSU was able to consult on several other fee-related changes and deadlines that have been made. To coincide with the new tuition deadline, the late payment charge deadlines will now come after the revision period. The new late payment fee system will include tiered fees based on the amount that’s overdue. This gives U of M students more time to pay the amount down, and with less monetary penalty for making multiple smaller payments rather than one payment covering the total.
Late registration fees will also be eliminated due to some students’ situational inability to register before classes start. In addition, the hold on Library Services and Student Card replacement for overdue accounts will be removed, allowing students with holds on their accounts a better chance of success by being able to access essential campus services at the beginning of the term.
UMSU understands the financial stress that U of M students experience, not only at the beginning of the Fall Term, but year round. UMSU will continue to help alleviate these stresses by advocating for improvements to better support student needs.
Upcoming Improvements to U of M Transit Services for Students
The University of Manitoba Students Union (UMSU) has worked with Winnipeg Transit to address areas of improvement within transit services for U of M students. Changes to come include improved bus service on the U of M’s busiest routes, a new option for loading Post-Secondary Passes onto existing U-Pass Peggo cards, and expanded eligibility rules for the Post-Secondary Pass over summer.
Transit Service Improvements to U of M Routes
Bus routes to the U of M currently see the more transit riders turned away by overfilled buses than any other routes in the city. UMSU has secured a commitment from Winnipeg Transit that addressing bus overcapacity on routes to the U of M is their top route planning and scheduling priority. Winnipeg Transit’s promised plans include scheduling improvements as well as switching some of the existing buses on routes 160 and 161 to articulated buses (extra-long buses able to carry a higher number of passengers). These issues will start being addressed as early as Fall 2018.
Peggo Card Solutions
Starting Summer 2018, Answers may load Post-Secondary Passes onto the same Peggo card as a U-Pass. This will eliminate the issue of students being forced to keep and carry two separate Peggo cards year-round.
Expanded Eligibility for Summer Post-Secondary Pass
Eligible Full and Part-time Students (per Winnipeg Transit website) who are enrolled in Winter Term classes will now be considered students through the following Summer Term. This means Full time and Part time Students will be eligible to purchase Post-Secondary fare products on their existing Peggo card over the summer months – students who are not enrolled in classes will not be required to pay the full adult rate over summer. Students who do not return to classes in September will no longer be considered a student for the purposes of purchasing Post-Secondary Passes. This expanded eligibility will be implemented in time for students to purchase Post-Secondary Passes over summer 2018.