Know your rights – School admissions and fees refund

School admissions and fees refund

Its a known fact that there is no consistent Admission schedule followed by schools in the country. While some schools start taking admissions for next session as early as June, there are others who wait till the end of October. In such a scenario, what happens when you have paid admission fees to one school initially and later your child gets admission to a far superior school of choice. What happens if you as parents switch to a different city for job after completing admission process in first school. You would want to pursue refunds of the admission fee paid to the first school. Won’t you? However, in reality, many parents go by the first school’s rule book and either forfeit entire or a portion of fees paid to the first school or deprive themselves of admissions to the school of preferred choice. The parents generally feel that School admissions and fees refund never go hand in hand but that is not true.

What does the rule book say?

There are no clear instructions from curriculum boards or Directorate of Education for refund of admission fees once paid. Only in case of Delhi, it is written in rule book  of DoE that entire fees (admission fees usually consist of components like One time Admission fees, Caution/Security Money, Development charges/Annual charges) has to be refunded within one month of being paid. The schools are allowed to retain only marginal amount as processing charges. But then, one would say it is because the admission schedule in all schools in Delhi is fixed and coincide with each other.

In year 2009,  the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education issued public notices and circulars condemning such practices and instructed the institutions to refund the fee collected from the parents. A maximum of Rs 1,000 can be retained towards processing charges that may have been incurred by the institution in regard to the admission. However, both UGC and AICTE are meant for UG colleges and have no control over schools.

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Till 2011, most of the consumer courts had given judgments in favor of complainants (parents). However, in 2011, the Apex Supreme Court passed a judgment which held that Education is not a service hence student was not a consumer. As a result, consumer court complaints from parents were not being accepted at consumer courts (district). However, in 2016, Maharashtra state commission differentiated services offered by schools. Post this, many district forums have cited this case for passing orders in favor of parents.

The current scenario with private schools?

Since there is nothing in the rule book, for ample clarity, many schools nowadays specify a clause in their admission forms that admission fees once paid will not be refunded. They only refund the security money if at all they do. However, as  a matter of fact, this arbitrary clause from schools has no legal standing.

Parents have the legitimate right to a refund of the fees from first school in case they move to another school or city, so as to exercise their right to join a school of their choice. This has been proven time and again in cases where parents have gone to courts seeking refund of entire admission fees amount.

 

What options do parents have?

  • Parents shall submit to school in writing to refund the entire amount except for nominal processing fees. They can also attach copy of references shared to previous cases of refund as shared in References section in this article. Please note any arbitrary clause from school has not hold good in court of law.
  • Parents can reach district consumer forum and file case for a meager fee of Rs. 200 plus miscellaneous expenses. If the case is not accepted at district level, parents can appeal at state consumer forum for Rs 500 plus miscellaneous expenses.
  • Parents can eventually reach district civil courts. In either of consumer or civil court case, if the case is accepted, the schools will be asked to pay litigation charges along with full fee refund.

 

Parents shall feel free to contact us for any query or help should they need any.

 

References

Below are case studies of instances where schools have been directed to refund fees on complaint of parents:

 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Parent-wins-battle-against-school-to-get-admission-fee-refunded/articleshow/45302605.cms

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Student-can-seek-refund-even-if-fees-are-non-refundable/articleshow/53481084.cms

http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/consumer-forum-directs-school-to-refund-admission-fee-to-student/716893/

 

 

Last updated: August 7, 2018 at 21:29 pm

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unknownchrisphyHimani singhSmeet AkruvalaPalwinde Singh Recent comment authors
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unknown
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unknown

Dear Sir, I admitted my two daughters in a private school in Noida in July 2017. During the admission time, i paid a security money of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rs.50,000/- for each) in respect of both daughters. They completed the academic session 2017-18 and 2018-19 in the same school. I have also paid the admission charges and fees in respect of both for the first quarter of session 2019-20 (April 2019- June 2019). I received my transfer order in May 2019, however not sure about my movement i did not give notice to school immediately. After summer break, i did not send… Read more »

chrisphy
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chrisphy

i admission my child in private boarding school and and given a admssion fees for two month fees around 80000 and one month studies ,and school dress around 1lakes and i want to shift my child in other country school ,can refund from some amount from that school

Himani singh
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Himani singh

My son got Admission in the preschool in April.Minimum 15 days he went because of election holidays and summer break. Now we are shifting to other city and I am not sure whether school will refund me the annual fees or not. What should I do?
Please help

Smeet Akruvala
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Smeet Akruvala

A local school in ahmedabad is asking a friend to withdraw his daughter (sr. Kg) from the school basis attendance 60% and weak in English language.. they are forcing the parents to take the fees back and seek admission elsewhere. Does pre primary education by a private school have attendance and exam criteria for being promoted to the next class or are my friends being taken for a ride? The fact that the school told them this only in March-April when all other schools are through with their admissions.. please guide

Palwinde Singh
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Palwinde Singh

I’m in Indian Army. I paid Rs 4000 towards registration of my two kids at school nearby my village as I was planning to shift my family from Mumbai to my village. But due to Pulwama attack and high alerts followed by Air Strike, my leave was cancelled and I was not able to shift my family at my village. Now the school denies to refund registration fee.
What should I do?

D kumar
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D kumar

Please Suggest, I have admitted my child to KG class in RD Rajpal school on intimation by them ,they also said that in case of refund you have to come with application within a month. But later after a month my kid got admission in another far superior school. due to which ,I requested RD school to refund after a month .they are refusing ,I am requesting them to refund any amount as they desire .To my surprise and embarrassment they did not refunded as my hard earned money is loosing without any benefit or services provided by school as… Read more »

Ekta
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Ekta

I have paid my fees in Kuns DLF branch but now opting out because I get a better option in Shiv Nadar. But school is saying no to refund. Please help.

Shiraj
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Shiraj

This is a very useful read for parents who are being controlled by schools and their stupid rules.

Kalpana
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Kalpana

Thanks for sharing

Agnivesh
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Agnivesh

Thanks for sharing

Krishna jain
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Krishna jain

After going to civil court against a school in Gurgaon, the school refunded entire amount other than registration fees in an out of court settlement. Took me a year though though.

Tanya gupta
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Tanya gupta

Thanks for sharing.

Priyanka sen
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Priyanka sen

It is so important for govt to bring some regulations around this. Admissions in a city shall happen together so that parent’s have a common platfofm to choose from before paying fees.

Shreyas
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Shreyas

I also fought a case against a prominent school in Gurgaon. Originally, school was only paying back security money. Once the case was accepted, the school agreed to pay me 90% of total fees as an out of court settlement. It took around a year but finally…

Sonal verma
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Sonal verma

Thanks. This is very important piece of info.

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