My Report Impact: SSN College to Waive Library, Hostel Fee
I am happy that after The Quint’s report our college has taken this decision, which is huge relief for students.
On 28 August, The Quint’s My Report published a story by a student of SSN college in Chennai who raised concerns for being asked to pay hostel and library fees during the coronavirus lockdown.
Following the report, the management has informed all the students that a reworked fee structure will be shared shortly.
“On 4 September at 9:40am, we received a mail that we don’t have to pay for hostel and transport fees. They will rework the fees and only then will we have to pay,” said the student who had written the article for The Quint.
“I am very, very happy with The Quint that our college has taken this decision taking into consideration all our problems. During this coronavirus, most of our parents have financial difficulties and even I was hesitating about how I will tell my parents. Now, this is a huge relief.”Student, SSN College
“Considering the challenges faced by some of the students due to the pandemic, we wish to inform the students that they need not pay the hostel and transport charges till normalcy is restored. The amount payable will be reworked and informed as and when the payments are to be made,” read the mail from the management.
A Redressal Committee Set Up
Sources in the college management told The Quint that they have always wanted to prioritise the interests of the students and that they wanted to approach this concern in a more holistic manner, when this issue was raised.
A redressal committee has also been set up by the institution to address the students’ grievances.
“This is happy news for us. We were going to borrow money and we were very worried about the huge interest we will incur. Now we have time to figure out the finance and manage the fees,” said a student whose mother is a homemaker and his father, a weaver who sells lungis for a meagre Rs 160-Rs 200.
“Borrowing money was our only way of paying the fees. And any reduction of the amount will be very helpful,” said another student whose mother distributes food to kindergarten children.
Students Given Extension on Fees
On 21 July, the college management had sent a circular charging Rs 1,70,250 as the fee for the academic year. The students had left the hostel on 17 March and they were expecting a refund as they weren’t using the college resources due to the lockdown. But they didn’t receive a refund nor an affordable fee structure.
After writing to their respective departments, the students were given a revised fee structure which was Rs 3,000 lesser – about 2 percent lower than the previous one.
The student’s father had recently lost his job and got another job only after four months and with half the pay. He was very worried that this would be a huge burden and his father will have to borrow money to afford the fees.
When The Quint had reached out to the management for a response before the publication of the initial story, they said the students could write to the student counselor and the late fee would be waived.
For the students who can’t afford to pay because of their current economic situation, the college said they will consider offering them a scholarship.
When The Quint informed the students of this move, many of them wrote to the college, requesting a waiver, more time to pay the fees and even a scholarship. The management has now asked students to fill out a form requesting extension for payment of fees.
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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