Course fees and waivers

Fees and waivers 2015-2016 courses

In accordance with the Learning and Skills Act 2002 (the Act), the college has a duty through

Welsh Government (WG) to secure:

1)      The provision of proper facilities for: education (other than higher education) suitable to the requirements of persons who are above compulsory age but have not attained the age of 19

2)       The provision of reasonable facilities for: education (other than higher education) suitable to the requirements of persons who have attained the age of 19 and associated training and organised leisure time as defined in the Act.

In so doing, the college will seek to provide a schedule of fees and concessions which will encourage participation and inclusion in education and training, whilst ensuring that the college protects its assets and make best use of public funds, and ensures financial security.

The policy will all also assist in individual courses, and our overall provision, maintaining financial viability.

This fees policy is required to ensure a fair and consistent approach is adopted for the charging of fees to learners in Cardiff and Vale College.

Policy Statements

The Fee and Remission Policy will inform staff; students and any other stakeholder how course fees and refunds are managed and delivered.  It will provide a means of communicating how the aims of the College's strategic and operational plans relate to fee charges. The College uses its evaluation findings for future strategic planning and the planning of continued improvements for fee charges and administration.

General Fee Conditions – Applicable to all Learners

Course fees will be reviewed every year and will be available on the college website. Course fees are charged for each year of study within the institution.

The college will endeavour to run all classes on time and to schedule.  In the event of an act of nature or third party where classes need to be cancelled to ensure the safety of students and staff, refunds will not be given.

If the college cancels a course, full refunds will be available.

All learners aged under 16 on the 1st August of the academic year must be referred to a member of the Directorate Team before enrolment is discussed with the learner.

Fees must be paid at the time of enrolment unless otherwise agreed by the College.  Any learner who enrols on a college course and then subsequently fails to make payment will be excluded from the course.

Fees can be paid by:

Cash

Cheque, supported with bankers card

Debit and Credit cards

Employer Invoice, supported with letter of authorisation from the employer.

Student Finance Wales/Student Loans Company following receipt of a student’s financial notification

Fees will be collected at the start of the academic year but will be ongoing as necessary to take account of differing start times and roll on/roll off courses.  Teaching staff will not be involved in collecting fees and handling money, but they will be expected to convey information to learners in classes regarding fees.

Course fees or deposits are not automatically transferable from one term/year to another or from person to another.

The college reserves the right to pass on any overdue debt to a third party debt collection agency.

Further Education Learners

All learners will pay an administration fee at the time of enrolment of £30; the only exceptions to this are listed in the fee remission section of this document.

Full time learners are entitled to enrol on any part time Welsh, Literacy or Numeracy course for free, up to and including level 1 but this must be with the approval of the learners course tutor.  All other part time courses that a learner enrols on, in addition to their full time course, the learner will be expected to pay the exam fee of £35.

Further Education Institutions are not allowed to charge tuition fees to under 19 learners on Welsh Government funded courses.  Part time under 19 learners are eligible to pay examinations and registration fees.

Part time learners pursuing a number of part time courses does not equate them to a full time learner.  Each part time exam fee of £35 and any associated registration costs must be paid in full.

If a learner enrols on a course after the start date of the course they are to be charged the full fee for the course.

Fee Remissions

Fee remissions in the main, is only available to part time learners. Fee remission status will be decided at the time of enrolment and cannot be subsequently changed.  If a course is eligible for remission the fee will be reduced if the learner falls into one of the categories at the time of enrolment.  The learner will need to demonstrate proof of being in receipt of the following to be eligible for a fee remission:-

Income Support, JSA, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit (not child credits) and/or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Fee remission will not apply to all courses and remission rates fall into two categories, those being 100% and 50%.

Categories qualifying for 100% remission are Asylum Seekers, Passport to study and NEET’s. 

Categories qualifying for 50% remission (for those on the above benefits) are Entry and Level 1 (including ESOL & Basic Skills) also qualifying is Level 2 GCSE English and Maths.

These are decided by the Curriculum Directors discretion to meet economic and market demands.  There should be no remission granted for level 2 or above apart from the courses mentioned above.

Instalments

Course fees over £250 are eligible for instalments - learners pay 25% at enrolment and three subsequent direct debits payments of 25% usually in October, November, and December.

A student enrolling on an eligible course 6 weeks after the start will only be offered a two part instalment i.e. 50% at enrolment and then 50% a month later.

Any deferred payment plans must be agreed and signed for by the student and college staff prior to enrolling and starting classes.

Instalments are not available for learners that have been withdrawn for non payment of fees.

Refunds

Students who withdraw within the first 4 weeks of a 30+ week course would be entitled to a refund less an administration charge and a proportion of the teaching costs. The learners will also be liable for examination/registration fees if the college has already paid.

For courses less than 30 weeks, no automatic refund will be given. 

Courses that are not eligible for refunds will be highlighted by the Curriculum Directors.

All refunds processed will be subject to £30 administration charge.  Refund applications should be received by the Finance department no later than 5 weeks after the start date of the course.  For learners who withdraw after 4 weeks (course duration greater than four sessions), no refunds are given.  All refunds will be made by cheque or BACS and may take up to four weeks.  A valid receipt will be required.

Higher Education Learners

For HE courses that operate as part of a franchise agreement, the financial regulations of the partner organisation will apply.

Students are charged annual tuition fees. Students must agree the method of payment of tuition fees at enrolment, at which time the college will confirm the necessary procedures and timescales for payment. There is no remission available for Higher Education learners.

Methods of Payment

Student Finance – Tuition Fee Grants/Loans

Full-time students and first year part-time students in receipt of financial support must provide a copy of their financial notification letter at enrolment.  The notification states the contribution paid by SFW/SLC towards a student’s tuition fees. Any remaining fees need to either be paid in full or via instalments, dependent on the amount.

Continuing part-time students applying for financial support need to bring their partially completed PTG1 application form to enrolment (the College will complete Section 6 of this form). Following application students must provide the college with a copy of the financial notification within 60 days of enrolment. This states the amount of fee grant the student will receive. Any remaining fees need to either be paid in full or via instalments, dependent on the amount. Failure to provide the financial notification within the 60 days will mean the student becomes liable for the full tuition fee.

Sponsors

If a sponsor is paying the fees, the student must provide written evidence certified by the sponsor at enrolment.  If the sponsor later refuses to pay, the student will be liable for any outstanding fee.  Sponsors will have 30 days from the date of invoice to pay.  If after a further 30 days the sponsor has still not paid/refused to pay, the student is invoiced.  Instalments are not offered to Sponsors for Higher Education learners.

Refunds/ Adjustment to Fees due to Withdrawal

The college recognises that, following enrolment, students may wish not to pursue their study for a variety of reasons, which may not have been apparent prior to enrolment. In recognition of this, students who withdraw within TWO WEEKS of the start of their course will be entitled to a full refund of fees subject to any evidence of fraud or illegal acts or other outstanding debts to Cardiff and Vale College.

If the student withdraws after the first two weeks, their liability for fees is dependent on their fee status (Home EU or International), their franchising university regulations and the date of withdrawal. The following is meant to show the minimum possible liability but students’ are advised to check their actual liability with the college/franchising university:

Withdrawal during Term 1 – minimum 25%

Withdrawal during Term 2 – minimum 50%

Withdrawal during Term 3 – 100%

Please be aware, it is the learner’s responsibility to ensure he/she is withdrawn from the programme, by completing a withdrawal form with the course tutor. As the fee charged is dependent on the last date of attendance, specific attention should be paid to the date of withdrawal.

Requests for Refund should be in writing to the Finance Department, Cardiff and Vale College.

Tuition fee refunds will only be made to the original fee payer. If fees have been paid by a parent, spouse, partner, sponsor or employer, then the refund will be made to the relevant payee.

Students who have taken out a tuition fee loan will not be entitled to a refund directly from the college. CAVC will notify the SFW/SLC of the student’s tuition fee liability and the SLC will amend the student’s tuition fee loan liability accordingly.

Debt

Students who fail to meet agreed fee payment deadlines risk having their access to college facilities (including IT) withdrawn and being excluded from examinations. Students could also find they’re unable to progress to the next stage of their course, or receive awards and attend graduations. Students with an outstanding debt to the college will not be allowed to enrol on any other programme offered by the college.

International Learners

Students Requiring a Visa

All applicants that have accepted a CAVCI (Cardiff and Vale College International) offer of a course must pay a deposit equal to the full fee for the period of study.

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number or a course confirmation letter, which will enable you to apply for a visa, will not be issued until full payment has been received. For academic and vocational courses this payment must be at least five weeks before the start of the course. For students on all courses, this payment must be made before a place can be guaranteed.

The College will cover the cost of one CAS. Any additional CAS will be charged to the student at the current Home Office rate.

For students requiring a Tier 4 visa, in order to ensure we comply with UK Border Agency regulations, we may request evidence of the student’s financial situation.

Students Not Requiring a Visa

The International Office will carry out a fee eligibility assessment on all students who do not meet certain residency or documentary criteria in line with the Welsh government funding guidelines.

Any student assessed as not eligible for funding will be classed as International for Fee Purposes and be liable for the international fees of their chosen course.

English for International Students: 

For all applicants wishing to book a place on an offered course, a non-refundable deposit must be paid when accepting the offer. The deposit will be equivalent to £350 for EU/Home students and £450 for International students on full time courses. Students on part time courses will pay a deposit of £100 for EU/Home fees and £200 for International fees.

For students on a full year course of study (September to June) the course fee will be payable in full or in two instalments. The first instalment will take into account the deposit paid, will be specified in the course offer and must be paid at or before enrolment. The second instalment must be paid before 16th January 2015. Any student who has not paid the second instalment by this date will be withdrawn from their course, unless an agreement has been made with the international office before the deadline. No refunds will be given in this situation. Students wanting to join their course again must re-enrol if a place is available and pay the relevant January to June fee.

Students on a course of study from September to December or January to June will need to pay their course fee in full at or before enrolment, minus the deposit already paid to book the place as described in the offer letter.

Applicants for part-time courses follow the same payment requirements as detailed above depending on the period of study.  The deposit must be made before a place on a course can be guaranteed.

Students on Academic or Vocational Courses:

For students on a full year course of study (September to June) the course fee will be payable in full or in two instalments. The first instalment will take into account the deposit paid, will be specified in the course offer and must be paid at or before enrolment.

The second instalment must be paid before 16th January 2015. Any student who has not paid the second instalment by this date will be withdrawn from their course, unless an agreement has been made with the international office before the deadline. No refunds will be given in this situation. Students wanting to join their course again must re-enrol if their place is available and pay the outstanding fee plus an administration fee of £50.

For All Students

The course fee or deposit is not automatically transferable from one term/year or one person to another.

Any student wishing to extend their English for International Students course from one term to three will need to re-enrol for the desired course period within the deadline set by the International Office, if there are places available, and pay a £25 administration fee as well as the new course fee or difference between the paid fee and the new course fee.

For English for International Students fees, students will be charged a proportional amount from the week they enrol on the course until the end of their course. Students will not be able to pay in two instalments after 31st October and must pay their fee in full at enrolment.

Any charges incurred through bank transfers when paying fees must be paid by the student.

Refunds

Refunds of course fees are at the discretion of the college and must be requested in writing to the International Office, together with documentary evidence supporting the refund request.

Refunds are not guaranteed except in the following circumstances:

If the student visa or entry clearance is denied. This is proven by presenting International Office staff with the refusal notice from the British Embassy or Home Office/IND. Refunds will not be made in cash.

If a course/programme of study is discontinued by the college and no suitable alternative is available. Tuition already taken will be discounted from the refund amount.

Any granted refunds for full time courses are subject to a £100 administration fee and refunds for part time courses are subject to a £30 administration fee.

In the event of an Act of Nature or third party where classes must be cancelled to ensure the safety of staff and students, no refunds will be given.

If it is found that any documents or work given to the college as support for an application is not genuine, the college may refuse to place the student and no refund will be given.

Home Stay Deposits 

Students must pay a deposit of £130 if Home Stay accommodation is required.  Home Stay deposits are non-refundable once an official booking has been made with a host family, except in the case of visa refusal.

Home Stay deposits are returned once a student leaves a host family on condition that there are no outstanding payments or any other matters requiring further attention.

For full details please see Terms and Conditions for International Students.

Sponsored Learners

Anyone claiming that someone else should be invoiced as a sponsor must provide written evidence certified by the sponsor.  If the sponsor later refuses to pay, the student will be liable for any outstanding fee.  Sponsors will have 30 days from the date of invoice to pay.  If after a further 30 days the sponsor has still not paid/refused to pay, the student is invoiced.

Fee remissions and instalments are not offered to sponsored learners.

Assembly Funded Training Learners 

The associated costs will be recovered from the relevant Training Manager that the Welsh Government funded training learners are enrolled with.

Commercial  Courses

Individuals are not entitled to any credit and must pay course fees at the time of booking the reservation.

A form for credit must be completed in order to receive 30 days credit.  Credit is only available for companies that conduct regular business with Cardiff and Vale College.  Companies failing a credit check must pay course fees at the time of booking the reservation.

There are no remissions or instalments plans available for commercial courses.

If a place on a course is cancelled within 10 days of the start date the college will be unable to refund the fee.

School Link / Learning Pathways

Schools will be charged an hourly rate plus exam and material costs.  The hourly rate will be revised each year to reflect cost increases.  Payment terms are negotiated by each school, but full payment is expected by 31st May.

Examinations

In most cases examinations and registration fees are to be included in the course fees.

If a learner wishes to enter an assessment/examination after the closing deadline, and this has been made known to the learner well in advance, any late entry fees incurred by the college will be passed onto the learner.

Full time learners may be asked to pay for examination re-sits, this is dependent upon the course.  Part time learners have to pay for all re-sits.  All re-sits must be paid for in full, including those who were granted fee reduction on enrolment. 

Where in a tutor’s judgement a candidate is unlikely to be successful in an examination, students may enter the examination but would have to pay for the re-sit.

Charges will be passed onto learners failing to attend assessment/examination, unless a medical certificate or other suitable evidence is produced.   A learner simply failing to turn up will normally be charged the costs incurred by the college.  Any student missing an examination for unacceptable reasons e.g. holidays and wishing to take at a later date will be charged a rearrangement fee plus any examination costs incurred.

All external candidates will be charged in full for entry to assessment/examination in line with costs set by Awarding Bodies.  External candidates undertaking assessments/examinations that are not related to a course they are studying in the college will also be charged a handling fee per assessment/examination.  Any additional costs for invigilation incurred by the college will be passed onto the candidate.

All students may apply for help with examination and registration fees through the Student Support Fund on the grounds of hardship.

Additional Charges

Some courses may be subject to an additional fee to cover materials, consumables, CRB checks, kit and course trips.  This charge will be notified at the time of enrolment.  A charge per term may be applied to cover these additional costs at the Head of Faculty’s discretion.

Any staff wishing to enrol on a course must refer to the Staff Development Policy and this also includes authorisation of the enrolment form.