By Reet Taylor
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – With the start of each school year, some Camden County College students find themselves frustrated with a school policy that designates the last day for getting a full refund for withdrawing from a course to be the day before courses start. To avoid jeopardizing their finances, affected students find themselves feeling trapped in or forced to spend months to complete a class, despite not feeling entirely comfortable with the pace or methods its professor teaches with.
“We don’t really know what we are getting ourselves into,” said Yasin Robin, a second-year student at Camden County’s Blackwood campus. Robin pays for his classes and does work study in the school’s library to help him do so.
Feeling the policy on withdrawal refunds prevents students from getting to know their teachers before committing to a class, he questions the policy by comparing it to shopping. “At retail stores, customers are given a return period for full refund, but colleges don’t, which isn’t fair,” Robin said. “College life isn’t cheap, and if someone can be given 30 days to return a $20 shirt, why shouldn’t students get the same chance with classes worth hundreds of dollars?”
The school’s schedule prevents such a proposed return or refund period from happening. Camden County College’s academic calendar states that the final day to drop a class and receive a 100 percent refund is Sept. 1, while the first day of classes follows on Sept. 2. After this day passes, the maximum amount of money back a student is eligible to receive is reduced by half.
College staff members who work with registration understand well why the rule exists and should remain.
“The system and the professor have already made their preparations and constructed their respective rosters for the student to attend and complete the course. From there, if any student tries to sign up for that same class on the start date or afterwards, they will have to pay a late registration fee,” said Jocelin Jones, an enrollment service specialist on the Blackwood campus. She went on to explain it is the adjustment of giving one student’s position in a class to another that is ultimately being paid for and agreed this exchange between late withdrawing students and those registering late can be fairly considered “collateral.”
Despite some student disapproval, Jones does not believe the policy will be going anywhere.