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Tuition Refunds: Are They Possible?

Who Decides Tuition Fees?

The Tuition Review Committee (TRC) of Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), an organization for tuition arrangement, evaluates the annual tuition fees and the overall school budget. As of last April, the TRC has held five meetings. The following are the final results of the 2021 meetings: The tuition fees in 2021 for Korean undergraduates will remain the same, the tuition for international students will increase 5% compared to last year, and there will be a 1% increase for graduate students. Also, the eligibility for several scholarships is going to be extended to international students.

2021 Tuition Issues

1. Tuition Freeze

Student delegates emphasized the importance of tuition freeze in the 2nd meeting held in January. 58% of students deemed the current tuition fees to be high in a Student Council survey in 2020. Meanwhile, students are showing various stances on a freeze of tuition fees. Some said it is acceptable as SKKU has been freezing tuition over the past 10 years, considering inflation. Others argued the tuition freeze is actually an increase in tuition because the total number of classes was reduced due to the Challenge Semester.

2. Partial Tuition Refunds

According to a Student Council survey in 2020, 88% of students also suggested that tuition fees need to be partially refunded. Furthermore, there were complaints among students because they received the same amount of tuition refunds last year without considering their actual tuition. The Student Council promised that they would try to set a reasonable rate of tuition refund after they were elected. However, some difficulties are expected regarding tuition refunds as the President of SKKU said in the meeting in March that it would be more efficient to use the tuition for improving the school environment rather than being refunded.

Student Council’s Counterplan Towards Tuition Fee Refunds

Most students cannot use school facilities and enjoy university life fully due to the pandemic. Even though half of the semester has already passed, they constantly raise their voices about tuition refunds. Accordingly, the Student Council proposed specific measures. In the 5th meeting of the TRC on April 20th, they delivered students’ demands to school authorities that there should be a discussion about tuition refunds. Also, they are planning to check the source of funding on the 2020 tuition refund and school finances. Lastly, they promised to constantly update everyone on the continued discussions and progress of the tuition refund panel. Along with the Student Council’s efforts, Kingos should continuously pay attention to tuition and monitor pledge fulfillment.

Tuition Fee Refund Demands by the Student Council (instagram.com/skku_senergy)

강민주  romaine@g.skku.edu

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