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Understand the Payment Terms and Refund Policy in Your Student Contract

One of the top complaints of private school students is on course fees. Students were largely dissatisfied with their school’s refund policy or the increase of their course fees. To avoid such disputes, you are strongly advised to read and understand the payment terms and refund policy in your student contract before signing it.


Payment Terms: Understand what, when and how much you need to pay

Course Fees

Your student contract should provide a breakdown of your total course fees. The number of instalments may also be stated.

course fees1

Example of the breakdown of course fees in a student contract


Instalment Table

The instalment table states the amount and due date that you need to pay for each instalment. Do check for any late payment charges imposed by the private school.


Example of the instalment table in a student contract


Miscellaneous Fees

Your student contract should also specify any additional fees which you need to pay.


Example of the miscellaneous fees in a student contract



Withdrawal from your course

Check the refund policy in your student contract to find out if you will be entitled to get back any refund. Different private schools have different refund policies so review them carefully before you agree and sign up with the school.   


Example of the refund table in a student contract


Based on the example above, the student will get back 50% of his paid fees if he withdraws from the course less than 1 month before the commencement date of the course. He will not be able to get back any course fees if he withdraws seven days after the course starts.

For current students intending to withdraw from your private school, do check with your school for any outstanding fees that you may still owe. Settle the fees before you complete the withdrawal procedure.


Fee increases

Private schools intending to raise course fees are required to obtain their students’ agreement by signing a new student contract or addendum with them. If you do not agree with the fees increase, raise the issue to your school through its internal grievance/complaint process. Private schools should also give their students ample notice of any fee increases.