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490-105-120  <<  490-105-130 >>   490-105-140

What are minimum requirements for student refunds?

(See RCW 28C.10.050 (1)(b).) At a minimum, schools must use the following cancellation and refund policies; however, the agency may approve refund policies whose terms are more favorable to students than the following established minimums. Refunds must be paid within thirty calendar days of the student's official date of termination.
(1) For resident programs:
(a) The school must refund all money paid if the applicant is not accepted. This includes instances where a starting class is canceled by the school;
(b) The school must refund all money paid if the applicant cancels within five business days (excluding Sundays and holidays) after the day the contract is signed or an initial payment is made, as long as the applicant has not begun training;
(c) The school may retain an established registration fee equal to ten percent of the total tuition cost, or one hundred dollars, whichever is less, if the applicant cancels after the fifth business day after signing the contract or making an initial payment. A "registration fee" is any fee charged by a school to process student applications and establish a student records system;
(d) If training is terminated after the student enters classes, the school may retain the registration fee established under (c) of this subsection, plus a percentage of the total tuition as described in the following table:
If the student completes this amount of training:
The school may keep this percentage of the tuition cost:
One week or up to 10%, whichever is less
More than one week or 10% whichever is less but less than 25%
25% through 50%
More than 50%
(e) When calculating refunds, the official date of a student's termination is the last date of recorded attendance:
(i) When the school receives notice of the student's intention to discontinue the training program;
(ii) When the student is terminated for a violation of a published school policy which provides for termination;
(iii) When a student, without notice, fails to attend classes for thirty calendar days.
(2) Discontinued programs:
(a) If instruction in any program is discontinued after training has begun or if the school moves from one location to another, it must either:
(i) Provide students pro rata refunds of all tuition and fees paid; or
(ii) Arrange for comparable training at another public or private vocational school. Students must accept comparable training in writing.
(b) If the school plans to discontinue a program it must notify the agency and affected students in advance. The notification must be in writing and must include at least data required under WAC 490-105-210(3).
(c) Students affected by a discontinuation must request a refund within ninety days.
(3) For distance education programs:
(a) A student may request cancellation in any manner.
(b) The following is a minimum refund policy for distance education courses without mandatory resident training:
(i) An applicant may cancel up to five business days after signing the enrollment agreement. In the event of a dispute over timely notice, the burden to prove service rests on the applicant.
(ii) If a student cancels after the fifth calendar day but before the school receives the first completed lesson, the school may keep only a registration fee of either fifty dollars or an amount equal to fifteen percent of the tuition (in no case is the school entitled to keep a registration fee greater than one hundred fifty dollars).
(iii) After the school receives the student's first completed lesson and until the student completes half the total number of lessons in the program, the school is entitled to keep the registration fee and a percentage of the total tuition as described in the following table:
If the student completes this percentage of lessons:
The school may keep this percentage of the tuition cost:
0% through 10%
11% through 25%
26% through 50%
More than 50%
(iv) Calculate the amount of the course completed by dividing the number of lesson assignments contained in the program by the number of completed lessons received from the student.
(4) Combination distance education/resident training programs:
(a) The following is a minimum refund policy for a distance education program that includes mandatory resident training courses.
(i) Tuition for the distance education and resident portions of the program must be stated separately on the enrollment agreement. The total of the two is the price of the program.
(ii) For settlement of the distance education portion of the combination program, the provisions of the table in subsection (2)(b)(iii) of this section apply.
(iii) For the resident portion of the program, beginning with the first resident class session if the student requests a cancellation, the provisions of the table in subsection (1)(d) of this section apply.
(iv) Calculate the amount of resident training completed by dividing the total number of training days provided in the resident training program by the number of instructional days the student attends resident training.
(b) A distance education student who cancels after paying full tuition is entitled to receive all course materials, including kits and equipment.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28.10.040 [28C.10.040]. WSR 08-04-110, § 490-105-130, filed 2/6/08, effective 3/8/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 28C.10.040(2). WSR 98-22-033, § 490-105-130, filed 10/29/98, effective 11/29/98.]