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Dishing out more money for your education

by Archives January 9, 2002
As a new semester starts, remembering to pay your tuition fees on time is extremely important. The tuition deadline for the winter semester is Jan. 31 and the consequence for not paying fees by the deadline is no registration for future academic sessions being permitted until all overdue accounts are paid in full.
While the Student Accounts Office mails out a statement of account about twice a semester, you can obtain your personal student account information by visiting Concordia’s website, calling CARL, contacting the Student Accounts Office (H547) at 848-4900 or visiting the Birks Student Service Center (LB185).
Despite wanting to pay their tuition, an obstacle that prevents many students from paying their tuition fees on time is money being tight. “They have modest revenues and students balance their personal budget by affecting their limited resources to those expense items which are the most urgent and important,” says Roger Cote, Director, Financial Aid and Awards Office and Assistant Dean of Students (Assessment).
For those who do not have the money to pay by the deadline date, a possibility could be making a Special Payment Arrangement with the Student Accounts Office. This, however, is done in September. Linda Berthiaume, a clerk at the Students Account Office says that people who make this arrangement are “students [who] know they won’t be able to pay on time.” Your eligibility for this depends on your payment history.
While it might be possible to make payments in equal installments, you will be required to pay your first installment when you sign the Special Payment Agreement Contract. As Berthiaume points out, preventing yourself from being able to register during the summer is something that can be avoided. “Try to pay before the deadline especially when sending a cheque [because] you get cancelled,” she says. “It’s ridiculous because of silliness.”
Waiting until the last day to pay your tuition is foolish because it can take up to 10 working days for a payment to reach Concordia if you pay at a bank, by mail or an after-hours mail box. A quick and easy way to pay is by going to the Birks Student Service Center and getting it over with as soon as possible it saves you future problems.
Payments can be made at any chartered Canadian banking institution or by cheque, money order, MasterCard, and Visa. You will need a payment stub when making a payment at a bank teller or an ATM. While a personalized payment stub is included in your statement of account, you can obtain a generic payment stub at the Birks Student Service Center, the Hall Building Information Desk (SGW), the Dean of Students Office (AD-121 at Loyola), and the after-hours mailbox on the door of AD-210 (Loyola).
Cheques, MasterCard or Visa payment can be dropped off in one of the after-hours mailboxes located on the outside wall of the Birks Student Service Center, beside the Hall Building Information Desk, the Dean of Students Office or on the door of AD-210. Paying your tuition on time ensures that you will be able to register and remain registered in future terms.
Besides the Student Accounts Office, the Financial Aid and Awards Office (LB085) is another place that help students financially. According to Cote, financial assistance is a necessity for approximately 50 per cent of full-time Concordia students. Planning ahead for the semester is therefore something that he strongly recommends. “This also means anticipating credit loads for each semester in order to forecast the cost of attendance,” he says.
“Students should apply for student financial aid very early in the spring to help cover the cost of tuition and fees in the following academic year. Applicants should anticipate six to eight weeks delay in processing of their need assessment. Applying early for assistance usually results in assistance being disbursed on time to help cover tuition and fee payments.” One thing that The Financial Aid and Awards Office does to help out students who have received their needed assessment, but are waiting for the disbursement of their assistance, is offer tuition deferrals. “This will secure the course registration until the financial assistance is disbursed,” he adds.
When it comes to a student’s eligibility for financial aid, it varies depending on the funding agency. Cote points out that most of Concordia’s aid recipients are recipients of the Quebec Student Assistant Programme. One of the basic Quebec eligibility requirements is being a full-time student registered in a program at Concordia which means a minimum of 12 credits per semester for an undergraduate student and eight credits per semester for a graduate student.
The other two requirements include being a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as well as being considered a resident of Quebec and that a student demonstrates financial need as assessed by the Aide Financiere aux Etudes Department of the MEQ. Information on eligibility requirements for other provinces can be found on the Financial Aid and Awards Office’s website at www.financialaid.concordia.ca or by consulting the Office.

If you need financial aid, you can contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 848-3507. Getting help as soon as possible ensures that you can register for summer courses and enjoy your education.

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