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Home Trending Education News UGC Latest Fee Refund Guidelines: Know Your Rights and Mandatory Guidelines of Fee Refund!

UGC Latest Fee Refund Guidelines: Know Your Rights and Mandatory Guidelines of Fee Refund!

Dec 11, 2023 1.5K Reads

The University Grants Commission or the UGC, the primary national statutory body for higher education, releases its guidelines for the refund of fees each year to prevent unfair and opportunistic practices by institutions and safeguard student rights. The guidelines of UGC, which are binding on all higher educational institutions of the country, state the rules and regulations about fee refunds that must be abided by to ensure the welfare of students and prevent fraudulent practices. 

But in most cases, while the guidelines mandate fair practices for HEIs across India, students stay in the dark about them and are unaware of their rights when it comes to fee refunds by institutions. This blog details the guidelines that have been issued by the UGC concerning the policies for fee refunds, a pertinent aspect for students to take note of, along with other facts about their financial rights to further the aim of UGC in enhancing the well-being of students taking up higher education. 

What Prompted the Latest Release of Updated Fee Refund Guidelines by UGC?

The latest guideline released by the University Grants Commission (UGC)  for the admission session 2023-24 came in July 2023 in light of the vast number of complaints they continue to receive each academic year from students about grievances of fee refund by higher educational institutions (HEIs). 

The latest guideline release for this year, dated 3 July 2023 intends to address the representations and concerns raised by both students and guardians of students enrolled in various higher educational institutions regarding their non-refund policies for fees of students desirous of migrations or withdrawal of their registered applications. 

The decision came in light of the discussions and deliberations in the 570th meeting of the commission, held in June 2023, based on which the commission reiterated its stand on the matter of fee refunds by HEIs for students. 

The guideline issued by UGC aims to address the queries of students at all levels of higher education (i.e. undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral or PG diploma, etc.) as well as in all modes of education (i.e. regular mode, distance or ODL mode, or online learning mode) to mandate institutions to abide by the UGC fee refund policies under all circumstances. To read the official "UGC Fee Refund" notice Click here.

What are the UGC Guidelines for Fee Refund of Students by Colleges and Universities?

The University Grants Commission or UGC, as the national statutory body of India, receives multitudes of queries, grievances, and concerns from students and guardians regarding the fee refund policies of higher educational institutions across the nation at various levels. 

Taking cognizance of the opportunistic nature of such policies in a large number of HEIs when it comes to providing refunds of student fees and registration charges, the UGC has released detailed guidelines and instructions for HEIs to abide by across the nation, irrespective of their ownership, level of education or mode of education.

The commission noticed that a very large number of grievances raised by students and guardians point to the unfair and coercive practices of non-refund student fees in practice in universities, colleges, and institutes. To address such concerns and with the aim of “prohibiting coercive and profiteering institutional practices in the matters related to refund of fees in case of withdrawal from the program” (UGC Notification on Refund of Fees and Non-Retention of Original Certificates, dated October 2018), the UGC released its detailed fee-refund guidelines that are binding on all HEIs in India. 

These guidelines have been elaborated upon below: 

Category 

Point of Time when Notice of Withdrawal of Admission is Received in the HEI

Percentage of Refund of Fees

(1)

15 Days or More Before the Formally Notified Last Date of Admission

100%

(2)

Less than 15 Days Before the Formally Notified Last Date of Admission

90%

(3)

15 Days or Less After the Formally Notified Last Date of Admission

80%

(4)

30 Days or Less, but More than 15 Days After Formally Notified Last Date of Admission 

50%

(5)

More Than 30 Days After Formally Notified Last Date of Admission

0%

* In Direct Reference to the Guidelines of Fee Refund Provided in the UGC Notification for Refund of Fees and Non-Retention of Original Certificates (2018) 

These guidelines indicate that:

  • If you are a student who has applied for admission to an HEI and desire to withdraw/migrate your application from it at least 15 days before the institution’s announced last date of admission, then you are eligible for a full refund of your fees. 
  • If you have applied to an HEI but withdraw your application from the institution within less than 15 days from the last date of admission, in that case too you are eligible to get a 90% refund of your fee from the institution.
  • If the withdrawal of your application from the HEI exceeds the announced last date of admission but is within 15 days after the last date, then you are eligible to receive an 80% refund of your paid fees. 
  • If you withdraw your application to the HEI within 15 to 30 days after the last date of admission, then you are eligible to receive a 50% refund of your submitted fee from the institution. 
  • However, if you decide to withdraw your application from an HEI after a month (or more) of its last date of admission, then the institution is not obliged to provide any fee refund for the fee already paid. 
  • The UGC also instructs that no HEI can charge more than INR 1000 as a processing fee for the withdrawal of an application by a candidate/enrolled student. 

What is the Latest Update for Fee Refund by UGC for Students in 2023?

The release of UGC regarding updated amendments and guidelines for fee refund by HEIs was released in July 2023 after the 570th meeting of the commission led to the insight into non-compliance of certain institutions with existing fee refund guidelines and profiteering practices existent in HEIs. 

Accordingly, the latest guidelines took cognizance of these issues and reiterated the following updates about the fee refund: 

  • Further, the release reinstates that the HEIs must make a full fee refund of all students who withdrew their applications or migrated the same to other institutions on or before 31st September 2023. 
  • It was further stated that the maximum processing fee or fine for cancellation of application as charged by the HEI must not exceed INR 1000 for those cases who withdrew applications or migrated up till 31st October 2023.
  • The release further clarifies that the above-mentioned refund guidelines are binding on all HEIs irrespective of “any guidelines/prospectus/notification/schedule” previously issued by an HEI of its own accord. 
  • The release states that the existing guidelines of fee refund as elaborated upon above and under the UGC Notification for Refund of Fees and Non-Retention of Original Certificates (2018) are binding on all HEIs providing higher educational courses at various levels and modes of education. This is for institutions with admission schedules exceeding 31st October 2023.
  • An additional guideline issued through this release was to the Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations, 2023 which clarified that any delay in or denial of the refund of fee to a student who withdraws their application within the mentioned period in the prospectus or subject to guidelines of UGC, is also to be treated as a valid student grievance. 

What are your Rights as a Student? Top Facts to Know

As is the case with a majority of the students pursuing further education in India from various higher educational institutions (HEIs), you may be unaware of your rights as a student concerning refund of fees. 

This blog is an attempt to sensitise students who are currently pursuing higher education or are willing to do so shortly, about their rights to refund of fees upon withdrawing or migrating their application. 

Here are a few of your rights regarding fee refunds from HEIs as per the latest UGC guidelines that you must take cognizance of, mentioned for your quick reference. 

  • You are eligible for a full fee refund from the HEI you apply to provided you withdraw your application before at least 15 days of the formally announced last date of admission. 
  • You are eligible to receive a 90% fee refund from an HEI if you withdraw or migrate your application from them within less than 15 days of the formal last date of admissions. 
  • You are eligible for an 80% fee refund from the HEI if you withdraw/migrate your application within less than 15 days after the last admission date. 
  • You are eligible for a fee refund of 50% if you withdraw/migrate your application within 15-30 days of the formally announced last date of admission. 
  • For all the above-mentioned cases, the caution or security money that is charged by an institution separately in addition to the course fee is to be refunded in full capacity. 
  • The HEI cannot charge you over INR 5000 as processing fees/charges upon withdrawal of your application/migration of application. The ideal deduction from fee for processing charges must not exceed 5% of the total fee paid by the student. 
  • You are eligible for refunds irrespective of whether you are a student in the regular mode of learning, online mode of learning, or distance/open mode of learning. 
  • You are eligible for the refunds irrespective of whether you are pursuing higher education at the UG, PG, or doctoral levels. 
  • UGC also safeguards the interests of students by providing guidelines for prompt action by the HEI once the student applies for a refund–the HEI must address your application withdrawal/migration concern in a maximum of 15 days, upon failure of which you can file a grievance to the concerned authority about the same. 
  • A grievance can also be filed by a student if the institution delays the refund or denies the refund to the student as per the guidelines issued to the  Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations, 2023 by the UGC. 
  • No institution can mandate or compel students to buy the institution’s prospectus at any time during the educational program, and the choice of purchase of institutional prospectus is completely dependent on the student’s will. The HEI must make the same information in a prospectus available on the institution’s website as well. 
  • Furthermore, you cannot be charged for the entire duration of the course at once, before the commencement of the course. Similarly, an HEI cannot charge you a course fee beyond the current semester/year in which you are enrolled and collection of such advance fee beyond one semester/year of the course is subject to punitive action as per the UGC. 

For UGC Detailed Guideline - Click Here!

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned rights of students and guidelines are for informational purposes only and are subject to amendment/change as per UGC’s latest updates. They are not meant for contesting any HEI directly and for such purposes, the official website of UGC must be referred to. 

Conclusion

As can be seen from above, UGC has devised a detailed and intricate framework of guidelines and regulations to safeguard the interests and financial well-being of students enrolling in higher education. In cases when a student faces an issue in receiving their refund for the withdrawal application within a stipulated period of the last date of admission, they can file grievances in the grievance redressal committee of the institution. The HEIs are mandated by the UGC to take prompt and appropriate action for such cases and complaints, upon failure of which they are liable to punitive measures by concerned disciplinary bodies for corrective measures. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The UGC has created a detailed framework for refund of students’ paid fees provided they file their withdrawal of application from an institution within a maximum period of 30 days after the formally announced last date of admission in that institution. Depending upon how much in advance the student withdraws/migrates their application, they can receive a refund ranging from 100% to 50%. It is to be noted that caution/security deposit amounts if charged by the institution, have to be refunded in full capacity irrespective of when the application is withdrawn from the HEI.

The UGC has released updated guidelines for fee refunds in the academic session 2023-24 which states that a full fee refund is to be provided by HEIs to students who withdrew/canceled their application up till 30th September 2023. Until 30 October 2023, the HEIs cannot charge more than INR 1000 as processing fees from students for withdrawing/migrating/canceling their applications.

Yes, if you are applying to a university in India that is recognized and validated by the UGC and you withdraw/migrate your application from the institution within a maximum of 30 days after the last date of admission, then you are eligible for a fee refund as per UGC guidelines.

You can get a refund from your college upon withdrawing your application till a maximum period of 30 days after the formally announced last date of admissions in the institution, post which you are not eligible to get a fee refund.

Yes, all the guidelines and frameworks of UGC for fee refunds are eligible for students who decide to change their college of admission and migrate to another recognized higher educational institution.

Yes, if you are a student pursuing online education from a UGC-recognised and duly accredited online institute/university/college, then you are eligible for fee refunds as per the standard UGC guidelines binding on all higher educational institutions in India.

The UGC mandates HEIs to look into your application for a fee refund and take prompt action within a maximum period of 15 days accordingly. If any action is not taken, no information is communicated to you or a refund is initiated by the institution, check if you are eligible for a fee refund as per the UGC’s guidelines. In case you are eligible for a fee refund but your concern is not being addressed or delayed, you can file a grievance with the grievance redressal committee of the concerned HEI.

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