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Information for students
Students may allow others to pay on their behalf and can make those arrangements directly with the payee. The payee simply needs to know how much to pay, and the student’s name and ID number. Payees should understand that all refunds are returned directly to a student regardless of who paid.
Note: unless the student has provided a Release of Information, College staff cannot confirm how much is owing or if the student is enrolled to a third-party.
However, students are often sponsored by an employer or another organization. Sponsorship is generally an agreement to pay and there are terms and conditions attached to the agreement. A written authorization from a sponsor is considered as a transfer of financial obligation even before the money has been received or classes have begun. Note: that if the sponsor defaults on payment, the student will be unaffected and the College will collect outstanding fees from the sponsor.
Students that are sponsored can submit a Sponsorship Authorization letter, a legal Purchase Order, or an NLC Sponsorship Authorization form in lieu of payment. The T2202A will indicate amounts charged to the student, regardless of who paid.
If a sponsor withdraws their sponsorship prior to the first day of classes, the seat in the class or program remains the responsibility of the student. Students are expected to pay in full or drop from the program/course (with written notification to the College). Note that the College has a number of financial assistance programs, so students with a desire to continue without a sponsor should contact the NLC Financial Aid office.
Information for sponsors
Sponsoring a student is a formal agreement between your organization and Northern Lights College that in simplest terms, is a promissory note to cover the costs associated with education. Sponsoring a student is different than customized training as customized training does not specifically identify the student in the contract. For details on payments, refunds, and penalties for customized training, please see your contract.
As a sponsor, there are some important details that you should know. You may also want to consider best practices.
1. Sponsors can and should identify what they are willing to pay for.
Charges a student may encounter include:
a. Tuition: The actual cost of the course(s) and is eligible for tax consideration.
b. Student fees: The fees associated with being a student including the NLC Student Association fees.
c. Instruction Related fees: Some programs or courses may have these fees to cover the cost of resources, supplies, and materials.
e. Tools, uniforms, certification exam fees: Additional costs that a student might encounter to start or finish their program.
f. Accommodation: A student may need to move or live in an NLC residence.
Details on the costs of NLC programs are available here: http://www.nlc.bc.ca/Admissions/Tuition
Sponsors may also want to limit the total amount they are willing to pay.
2. Refunds for Tuition, Student Fees, and Instruction Related Fees will be returned to the Sponsor, providing a formal agreement with NLC exists. If you have simply paid on behalf of the student (without a sponsorship authorization agreement with NLC), refunds will go to the student.
3. Payment terms are defined on the invoice to sponsors, but normally follow the same payment terms as students; payment in full by the first day of classes.
4. Many of NLC’s courses and programs require prepayment of a deposit before a student can enroll. The deposit is non-refundable – even if the student doesn’t come. The deposit is also non-transferrable; if a student does not come, it cannot be transferred to another student. If a deposit is required, it must be paid at the time of enrolment and cannot be deferred to invoice. (Note that students who cannot provide a deposit but have confirmed funding can request a DepositWaiver).
5. Sponsors may revoke their agreement to sponsor a student prior to the first day of classes. After the first day of classes, all fees are due and payable as outlined in the sponsorship agreement, regardless of whether the student attends or sponsorship is withdrawn. Note that if a student drops the course(s) before the refund deadline, there may be a refund to the sponsor. Revoking sponsorship does not withdraw a student from the course(s); only the student may do that.
6. Sponsors often expect evidence that a student attended and/or completed a program or course. The student may request a Confirmation of Enrolment and/or a Transcript be sent to the student or directly to the sponsor.
7. Sponsors also often want to check in on how their students are doing. Note that a sponsorship agreement would not entitle the sponsor to ask the College directly for information about enrolment, attendance, grades, or financial information.
If a sponsor requires direct access to NLC to discuss a student’s enrolment, attendance, grades, or financial information, the student must complete a Release of Information.
8. T2202A Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate are issued to students (not sponsors). Sponsors seeking education tax credits should contact their student.
Information for students and sponsors
To set up a sponsor agreement with NLC:
1. The sponsor should draft a Sponsorship Authorization from the sponsor. NLC has created a Sponsorship Authorization Form for convenience; a Sponsorship Authorization letter on the sponsor’s letterhead is also acceptable, or a legal Purchase Order. The letter/PO should include:
a. Company/organization name of the sponsor
b. Billing address of the sponsor
c. Contact name of the sponsor
d. Contact phone number for the sponsor
e. Contact fax number for the sponsor
f. Contact email address for the sponsor
g. Name of the student
h. Birthdate and/or NLC Student ID number of the student
i. What the sponsor will pay for and if there is a maximum:
ii. Student Fees
iii. Instruction Related Fees
v. Residence fees
vi. Other costs (identify)
j. The course(s) or program they are funding
k. Whether the student should pay any money to the College (e.g. the deposit). If the sponsor is guaranteeing the deposit, it should be a separate line item on the purchase order (non-refundable) and can be deducted from tuition.
l. Payables information (contact name, phone number, email, if not the same as the Contact)
m. Purchase order number (if applicable)
n. Signature of sponsor representative
2. Present the Sponsorship Authorization to an NLC representative for processing. Students may take the documents directly to Campus Services, or follow the instructions included in their offer of admission. Sponsors may write directly to email@example.com.
a. If a Purchase Order was created, please attach a copy.
b. If a Release of Information is required, please include it.
c. If a deposit is required, please include it. Students who cannot provide a deposit but have confirmed funding may request a Deposit Waiver.
3. The College will forward an invoice to the sponsor once registration is complete. Subsequent invoices will be forwarded as textbooks and residence fees are billed.
4. Payment terms are explained on the invoice; normally invoices are due within two weeks from the date of the invoice.
SPONSOR BEST PRACTICES
The following is provided as-is to sponsors, and does not imply legal or official advice or requirements. Every sponsorship relationship is different, and may be subject to legal considerations beyond what can be identified by Northern Lights College.
The Sponsor and the Student should agree on what the sponsor is willing to cover and under what conditions. When drafting a sponsorship agreement with the student, the sponsor may want to consider:
- defining attendance requirements;
- what happens if the student exits before completing;
- what happens if the student is required to withdraw by the College;
- what happens if the student fails;
- changes in status between the sponsor and the student:
What happens if a student terminates their employment after being sponsored?
The College recommends that the student and sponsor establish what will happen if a as part of the agreement on the conditions of sponsorship.
A common way for an employer to address this prior to agreeing to sponsor, is to state in writing that if the student does not complete the course/program successfully, the cost is repayable to the employer and may be deducted from their final paycheque.
Also, remember that if a sponsored student does not attend, the employer cannot send someone else:
Unlike customized training, the sponsored student “owns” their spot. If sponsorship is withdrawn, the student will be offered an opportunity to make alternate payment arrangements or de-register. Vacancies will be offered to the next eligible student.
Sponsors may also want to consider what evidence they need from the student to satisfy internal requirements. As it is difficult to force a student to provide evidence after classes have begun, consider requiring proof of enrolment, proof of completion, and/or proof of financial standing as part of the sponsorship agreement with the student.
Tax implications can influence sponsorship; the T2202A education tax certificate is issued to students, not sponsors. Taxable benefits, in-service training, and education tax credit transfer may require consideration in your sponsorship agreement.
Finally, in exceptional situations, NLC may remove a student from a class or program (most often for violating attendance requirements). Setting attendance expectations and consequences may be important to sponsors.