Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Process

On November 20, the Ontario government announced the tuition reimbursement and withdrawal option for college students. As a result, we have established a Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Process. It recognizes that the five-week faculty strike may have interrupted the lives of many students, and it sets the parameters for students who wish to leave college and receive a fall tuition refund. We have provided important details below that students should consider when deciding whether to withdraw from their program. First, let's look at the three separate refund/funding processes available to Centennial College students:

  • Flight Reimbursement Fund: available to help students who have chosen to complete the fall 2017 semester (extended to end January 12, 2018) to pay costs related to changes to flights booked prior to November 6. Students electing to complete the fall 2017 semester are eligible to apply for this fund and the Student Strike Relief Fund. Students who opt for the Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund do not qualify.
  • Student Strike Relief Fund: available to help students who choose to complete the fall 2017 semester (ending January 12) with unexpected costs (other than flight changes) that they will incur due to the extended academic semester. Students electing to complete the fall 2017 semester are eligible to apply for this fund and the Flight Reimbursement Fund. Students who opt for the Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund do not qualify.
  • Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund: available to students who elect to withdraw from the fall 2017 semester. Students who elect to withdraw from the fall 2017 semester receive a refund for their fall tuition portion of their fees, a partial refund of ancillary fees, and full refund of locker and College parking fees. Students who opt for the Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund are not eligible to access the Flight Reimbursement Fund or the Student Strike Relief Fund. View Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund form.

When deciding whether to withdraw, remember that, while the strike lasted five weeks, there is only one week of course content that requires adjustment. While the refund might be appealing at this moment in time, and for some of you, the right thing to do, there are implications (with respect, for example, to student loans (OSAP), study permits for international students and program availability) that you need to think through first, ideally with your Success Advisor. For example, I know that a number of you who are wanting to withdraw are eager to return in January and start the Semester a fresh; that can only happen if (1) the program is running in January and (2) there is space available in that particular program. I would suggest this is the sort of information you need to have at your fingertips before submitting your withdrawal form, confident you know where you are going and what you are doing once you leave the College.

If you are considering withdrawing, please speak with your Success Advisor. If you are conflicted about making this decision, we strongly encourage you to talk with one of the College's Counsellors.

What do I need to consider if I want a tuition refund?

We encourage all Centennial students to return to class and learn about the semester completion plans for their program before deciding to withdraw. Because Engagement Week occurred during the strike, Centennial College students missed four weeks of class. We are making up three of those four weeks by extending the semester one week before the holidays (December 18 to 22) and two weeks in the New Year (January 2 to 12). Therefore, we need to reconfigure just one week of lost class time.

Strike-Recovery-Plan-Graphic

We strongly believe that, with the adjusted syllabus, extension of the semester and extra student supports in place, Centennial College students have the opportunity to successfully complete the semester.

Also, re-enrolling in your program is not as simple as taking the classes again in the winter 2018 semester given the scheduling of programs and available spaces (and given Centennial's obligations to incoming students).

Here are some scenarios:

  • Your program may be available in the winter 2018 semester (starting January 22), but the programs might be full – meaning that there is no guarantee that you will be admitted.
  • Your program may not be available in the winter 2018 semester and might only be offered again in the fall 2018 semester (September). However, these programs might be full – meaning that there is no guarantee that you will be admitted into these programs.

That said, students who truly feel they cannot continue their studies this semester will qualify for the Fall 2017 Semester Withdrawal and Tuition Refund if they can demonstrate that their reason to withdraw is a direct result of the strike. Qualifying students can withdraw from the fall 2017 semester and receive a full refund for their fall tuition portion of their fees, a partial refund of ancillary fees, and full refund of locker and College parking fees. Students can file the withdrawal application any time beginning at noon on Friday, November 24 through to 11:59pm on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. .

Please note: International Students must see an International Advisor to start their withdrawal process; failure to do so will result in a delay in processing your withdrawal application.

If you are considering withdrawing from your program, this will have allowed you to attend two weeks of classes before making a final decision. Please note that this is not a partial refund for the days you missed from class due to the strike. It is a refund of the fall tuition portion of their fees, a partial refund of ancillary fees, and full refund of locker and College parking fees, given with the understanding that you are leaving the college.

How will I know whether I qualify for a refund if I withdraw from the fall 2017 semester?

You qualify to withdraw and receive a refund if you are:

  1. A full-time or part-time student withdrawing from an eligible full-time program or course. Partial tuition refunds will not be granted.
  2. A full-time or part-time apprenticeship student. Apprentices can apply for a full refund of classroom fees if they cannot complete their in-school training for reasons related to the strike.
  3. A full-time Second Career student. The Ministry will receive any tuition refunds.
  4. International students who withdraw from the Fall 2017 semester and are not enrolled in a designated learning institution for the Winter 2018 (January 2018) semester :
  • Will NOT be eligible for an off-campus work permit or a co-op work permit
  • Will NOT be eligible for the post graduation work permit

International students must leave Canada unless they choose to change their status from “student” to “visitor”. Please see an International student Advisor to understand the IRCC rules and regulations.

Visit the IRCC to learn how the Ontario college strike affects your immigration status.

What exactly do I need to do to withdraw?

To withdraw, you must complete the online withdrawal form no later than 11:59 PM December 5, 2017 (absolutely no exceptions after that time) which includes providing a written explanation of why your withdrawal is related to the strike. Counsellors are available at each campus to help students who want to explore their decision further. You should also speak with a Success Advisor.

You will be asked to submit a written summary of your reason(s) for withdrawing and how this relates to the strike. You must complete these steps no later than 11:59 PM, December 5, 2017. After you have completed these steps, please note that it will take up to four weeks to complete the withdrawal process and for you to receive your refund.

If I withdraw, can I return to the program any time I want and resume classes?

With the recovery plans we have put in place, you will have every opportunity to complete this semester successfully. Remember, it’s only one week of content to reconfigure and you’re in good hands with our faculty and student services teams!

Unfortunately, you cannot return to your program immediately. If you choose to withdraw from your fall 2017 program and receive a fall tuition refund, you can reapply for your program in the winter 2018, summer 2018, or fall 2018 semesters. Enrolment Services will work with you, and do everything we can to secure you a seat, and bypass the OCAS application fee. However, the admission process is competitive and there are no guarantees.

Semester 1 Student Planning to Re-admit to Semester 1

If you are a Semester 1 student this fall 2017, and need to withdraw from your fall 2017 semester because of the strike, but plan to reapply for the winter 2018 or summer 2018 semesters, you can ask the College to hold your refund.

Students on OSAP can hold their fees for winter 2018 or summer 2018 semesters. You must contact the Student Financial Services department to inform them that you have requested your fees be held.

Winter, Summer or Fall 2018 Semester Re-admission. To reapply for winter 2018, summer 2018 or fall 2018 semesters after withdrawing from your program, please follow the re-admission steps below:

  1. If you are a recipient of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), consult with Student Financial Services to see how this will affect your OSAP assessment.
  2. Check your program availability for winter, summer or fall semester 2018 on the ontariocolleges.ca (OCAS) website.
  3. If your program is running and there are seats available (e.g., it is open on OCAS), please contact Enrolment Services to help with a Centennial College ‘in-house’ application. This allows you to bypass another OCAS application fee. Remember, there are no guarantees when you reapply, especially for oversubscribed programs.
  4. If you are an International student you will need to apply for your program again by following the steps listed on the International department webpage.

Returning to Semester 2 or Higher

If you choose to withdraw from your fall 2017 program and receive a tuition refund, you can reapply for your program. You will need to fill out an Application for Re-Admit or Transfer form located on the College’s website. The completed form must be submitted to Enrolment Services.

View all student forms

If I withdraw from the semester, what exactly will be refunded?

If you qualify for a full refund, and complete the process by no later than 11:59 PM December 5, 2017, you will receive a full refund for the fall tuition portion of their fees, a partial refund of ancillary fees, and full refund of locker and College parking fees.

Please note, in order to receive the refund of your College parking fees, you must return your parking permit to Security.

I am a student on OSAP, What happens to my OSAP if I withdraw?

Important, any OSAP student wishing to withdraw is strongly encouraged to speak with a Student Financial Services (SFS) Representative before you withdraw from fall 2017 semester, to ensure you understand the implications of your withdrawal and how it will impact your OSAP eligibility. These are general guidelines to assist you in understanding the processes.

OSAP students who withdraw from Fall 2017 semester due to the strike:

  • OSAP Academic Probation/Restriction:
    • Students will not have probation or a restriction recorded on their OSAP record for the fall 2017 semester of study withdrawal.
  • OSAP Overpayment:
    • Loans: Any tuition refunds must be returned by Centennial to the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) to pay down your outstanding debt.
      • If you have a remaining overpayment after any tuition refund is returned to the NSLSC it will be recorded on your OSAP record and may impact future funding, however, there may be appeal opportunities that will be outlined by the Ministry to defer your overpayment to a later time – see an SFS representative for your individual circumstances
    • Grants ONLY: the Ministry has not yet advised of their guidelines for students who have received grant only. More information to come.
  • Loan Repayment Obligations:
    • If you choose to return to full-time study in January 2018 or May 2018 and reapply for OSAP, you will not have any six month loan repayment obligations due to your fall 2017 withdrawal.
      • Your new application, however, will be reduced by the amount of your overpayment. There is a Ministry authorized appeal that can be submitted if this action results in a financial hardship.
    • If you choose not to return to full-time study until September 2018 or later, then your loan will become payable six months after your withdrawal.

If you are unemployed in six months or have income levels below the NSLSC levels, you can apply online for Repayment Assistance Program (RAP) through the NSLSC at 1-888-815-4514 or www.canlearn.ca.

What else do I need to know when making an informed decision to withdraw?

Refunds for OSAP recipients will be sent to the National Student Loan Service Centre for credit against any applicable outstanding loan balance. Refunds for Second Career students will be returned to the Ministry.

Refunds for Second Career recipients will be returned to the Ministry.

All other refunds will be issued:

  • By cheque; mailed to your home address based on your myCentennial address information.
    • Please ensure that your myCentennial mailing address is up-to-date.
  • If requested, kept on account for readmission at a later date.

In conclusion...

Having been admitted to a program and begun your studies, you have already come a long way on your learning journey. Hence, we appreciate that deciding to withdraw at this stage must not be an easy decision at all. Please know that you do not have to make that decision alone.

Speak to a Success Advisor and/or talk the decision through with whomever you consider a mentor. Make sure you have all the facts at your fingertips and then decide, one way or the other. Whatever you decide, we will be there for you. If you do choose to withdraw, we will endeavour to make the process as stress-free as possible for you.

Dr. Craig Stephenson
Vice President
Student and Community Engagement

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