credit card

A few weeks ago, the Trent Home news board made a minor announcement that could have major consequences for uninformed students.

Effective as of October 16, students paying student fees via credit card will be charged an extra 1.95 percent.

This fee will be non-refundable, and applies to the entire purchase. That means that if you are a full-time student and pay for this year’s basic tuition of $7,195.19 using a credit card, you would have to pay an extra $140.31.

That does not even take into account tuition fees for international students, who already pay an exorbitant amount just to attend Canadian universities.

The announcement, not only very brief and barely noticed, was posted on October 17, the day after the changes took place.

Moreover, the Operating Budget Report linked to on the financial services page denoting the changes misleadingly references information as being available “on page 5.”

However, what it does say on page five is, “The budget process will seek to ensure openness and transparency by providing opportunities for significant input by the University community and providing feedback on priorities and decisions of the process back to all faculty, staff, students, the broader University community and the public.”

The 1.95 percent fee on student payments is paid toward the card processing agency, and was originally covered by the university itself. The operating budget projects that, by placing the onus of credit card fees onto the students, revenue will increase by $294,313.

While it may be understandable that Trent would rather not pay this amount for students using credit cards, you would think that if this money was just going to the credit card operating system anyway, that the university would at least want to better inform students on how to avoid the fees altogether.