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University offers student refunds for online access to course material

The University of Windsor will refund approximately 3,000 students a $70 ancillary fee payment they made for “access codes” that allow them to use online applications related to course material.

The refunds are being made to remain in compliance with a provincial tuition framework directive. Students can expect the refunds to be added to their accounts over the next several weeks.

“In the summer of 2011, all universities in Ontario received further instructions from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities regarding what charges can be included in ancillary service fees,” said UWindsor president Alan Wildeman. “During that time we were developing the fee structure for the current year, and it was an oversight on our part that access fees for online materials could no longer be included. This came to our attention just this week, so we quickly found a solution for our students.”

Kim Orr, president of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance, welcomed the announcement.

“I’m very excited to see the University respond so quickly to students’ concerns regarding the online access codes,” she said. “It is excellent to see the University reimbursing students for the cost and assuring that it is no more difficult for students to obtain their post secondary educations.”

A committee will look at this issue for the 2013/14 academic year to find a more permanent solution going forward. Accessing online materials for tests, research information and assignments is a steadily growing practice in many post-secondary courses as more faculty are taking advantage of the interactive and dynamic learning that can take place using this technology.

For more information, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions on Access Codes Refunds.