By Dominique Blain
I’m not happy about premier McGuinty’s announcement. Period. I can’t afford current tuition — so I won’t be able afford an extra $200 next year.
Which means I’ll owe Ryerson an extra $200 on top of whatever else I won’t be able to cover next August. But as much as I’m frustrated by the McGuinty government and its unoriginal “solutions,” my unbridled hate for tuition fees boils to the rim when it comes to the specific case of higher tuition at Ryerson.
Ryerson University is the only university I could find that demands the entire cost of tuition up front. And if you can’t fork over that lump sum, you get dinged with monthly interest charges. How much? Are you holding onto your seat? I quote the Ryerson student guide: “There is a late fee service charge of 1.5 percent per month, 19.6% effective annual rate on any unpaid balance in your account.”
My credit cards — the lamest credit cards in the world — charge me less. This interest fee is so exorbitant it should be illegal. Hell, it might be illegal. I should check that up. To top it off, it certainly doesn’t help that OSAP is given out in two payments — in September and in January.
So Ryerson knows that anyone who depends on OSAP generally won’t even be able to pay tuition up front and will have to wait til January to pay it off (with accumulated interest, of course). It’s like someone in administration woke up one day and gleefully announced: “Hey! I have an idea. Let’s really fuck over the poor students.”
Conversely, at York University, students are expected to make monthly tuition payments that, by the end of the year, add up to their total fees. If they miss a monthly payment, they are charged interested on that payment only. At the University of British Columbia, tuition for the fall semester is expected in September; tuition for the winter semester is expected in January. In Australia, they charge tuition after you finished your academic year — after all, who pays for a service before it has been received?
I don’t pay for my hair cut until my hair is cut. When Ryerson starts charging more tuition it won’t just be lining its pockets with that extra cash, but with interest on it from the hundreds of students who just won’t be able to keep up with the payments. Unnecessary cruelty.