University assures students of fee refunds

The National University of Samoa [N.U.S.] administration has assured parents and guardians that students who qualify for the 5 per cent tuition fee reduction for Semester 2 will be reimbursed.

The university’s President and Vice Chancellor, Aiono Professor Dr. Alec Ekeroma, gave the assurance on Tuesday when responding to public concerns that some students’ fees were paid in full despite them qualifying for the tuition fee reduction initiative.

He said the university’s finance department is having difficulties trying to identify self-sponsored students who would qualify for the initiative.

"There are some students who have already paid their tuition fees in full without the reduction of the 5 per cent," Aiono said in an interview.

"The problem is the finance department is having difficulties identifying students who are sponsored and those who are privately sponsored.

"There are quite a few students who are on a scholarship funded by the Ministry of Finance, S.Q.A. [Samoa Qualification Authority] and other departments.

"So because they were unable to identify who’s sponsored and who’s not, the 5 per cent hasn’t been taken off from the tuition fees for those students who had already paid in full last week."

Aiono urged students and parents to see the NUS finance department before August 28, if they think they will not be able to make the full payment by the deadline.

The university can strike a deal on an alternative payment arrangement, which the Vice Chancellor said could include part-payments until the tuition fee is paid in full.

Last Friday August 14 was the deadline for the payment of the tuition fees with the NUS finance office crowded with parents and students. However, some of them found out that the 5 per cent tuition fee reduction initiative was applied following payment, leading to the disgruntled students and parents taking to Facebook to express their disappointment.

Some students and parents were also unaware of the 5 per cent tuition fee reduction initiative until they heard the announcement on the N.U.S. Facebook page.

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