International students should not have been removed from Texas Wesleyan this semester.
The university implemented a strict payment policy for international students over the summer. Several emails were sent to the students warning them that they had to be on a payment plan or pay in full by the 12th day of class, or face deregistration.
This was not a smart thing to do. It wasn’t dumb that the policy changed to include deregistration, but it is ridiculous to think that sending out four emails over the summer would suffice in communication. The emails were sent out on July 13, Aug. 4, 13 and 19.
First, some international students have problems getting to their email during the summer. Plus, many students do not check their email over the summer. School is not in session, and many students put school in the back of their minds. This is especially true for returning students who aren’t expecting any policy changes.
Second, international students spend tons of money to even get to America. The cost of flying here, getting a phone, paying visa fees and living on campus can be several thousand dollars. If they had not checked their email, then they just spent thousands of dollars and wasted a great amount of time to get kicked out of school.
The university should have made sure the students had replied and understood the change well before the start of the semester. Changing a policy over the summer and sending out emails does not ensure that students will understand the change.
If the university wanted to make this change, it should have delayed another semester, or even a year, so that international students could have more time to adjust and effectively communicate with Wesleyan. These students often have language barriers and allowing them to ask questions in person could have saved them from getting deregistered.
Furthermore, the university should be more willing to open up about this subject, let people know what is going on, and do its best to help these students find a way home or transfer to another school.
This situation, in other words, should have been more carefully considered.
Several students, domestic and international, are upset about what has happened. If Wesleyan had been losing money from students not paying tuition, they are really going to lose money now because students may not want to come to this campus. We know of students who have paid tuition who are considering transferring to another university because of this situation.
Wesleyan has been working hard to build up the university’s reputation and promote itself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This new deregistration policy is not going to help.
International students should have to pay for tuition; that is fair. What is not fair is kicking them out without making sure that they understood the policy well before the first day of school.