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Tuition refund issued to students next year

By Shannon AlomarSpecial to The Chronicle

For the upcoming fall 2013 semester, there is an optional Tuition Refund Plan (TRP) being put in place for all continuing and incoming students.  It would cover any unforeseen ailments or mental predicaments.

Although Hofstra has upheld a tuition refund policy prior to the upcoming semester, the University is making sure students are aware of this insurance program just in case something was to unexpectedly happen to them throughout the semester. Students would have to pay $127 per semester to obtain it, which is $47 more than the previous plan. Many students expressed their disdain for possibly having to pay an extra fee to ensure, if needed, their tuition could be refunded.

Leslie Bennett, Student Financial Service Counselor, explained the logistics of this plan and the importance of why students should look into purchasing it.

“The plan is optional but God forbid you break your leg and are unable to make it through the remainder of the semester, this plan can provide [the student] security in regards to the refunding of their tuition.” Bennett said.

Bennett also emphasized that once the semester begins, fees are not refundable in the case that a student would need to use the TRP. These fees include university fee, activity fee, technology fee, etc. She also made it clear that this plan would only be able to be utilized if a student had to leave for a medical or mental incapability, which has no connection to a student’s ability to afford continuing their education at Hofstra University.

Other details of the plan include the University’s effort to inform unknowing students. When students register for the fall 2013 semester, a prompt screen will appear beginning with, “Hofstra University would like to make you aware of the tuition insurance program, the Tuition Refund Plan ("TRP"), available through A.W.G. Dewar, Inc.”

Preceding the blurb which gives students background information as to what the TRP is, they will have to select “yes” if they plan to purchase this insurance, or “no” if they do not. Students who fail to select an option will not be able to move on to selecting their classes.

If a student agrees to purchase the insurance, the fee of $127 will be added onto their fall 2013 student invoice and will be expected to be paid on the due date of the invoice. In the case a student does not wish to purchase the insurance, they will have until the beginning of the fall 2013 semester to change their mind, but if they do not choose to purchase it before that time they will not be eligible for a tuition refund in the case something does happen to them throughout the semester.

When students were asked whether or not they agreed with this TRP many of them were receptive and considered the positives of purchasing said plan.

Naomi Gunkel, a sophomore, remembered reading an email that gave some detail about the TRP and said a lot of people she knew who would probably use it, although she did not foresee purchasing the plan for herself.

“It’s good to have that option just in case, but I personally do not think I would fall into a circumstance that I would need it so I probably won’t be buying it,” Gunkel said.

Amish Sattaluri, freshman, also brought up the idea that his parents would ultimately have the final say of whether or not he would have the insurance. Sattaluri also added, “In comparison to our tuition I don’t think $127 is a lot to pay to ensure if I have to leave I can get my money back. Granted, there is the worst case scenario of losing 127 bucks.”

Johannes Sorto, freshman, understood the plan but questioned to usage of his tuition money.

“We pay a lot of money to attend this university, so why isn’t some of the money we pay allocated to this insurance,” Sorto said. “Shouldn’t everyone be able to be refunded if they come into unfortunate circumstances?”

More information on the insurance can be found on the Hofstra website under the Bursar category.

In the print edition: On page 2, the article "The back-up plan: tuition refunded" was written by Shannon Alomar, Special to the Chronicle.

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