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How to get a refund on rubbish on-line courses?
#1
I signed up for a couple of on-line courses from a local community college. Within a week, I noticed that the professors did not know what they were doing, but the school said you can only get a refund on tuition if you withdraw within the first day.

Now I'm four weeks in. One professor has some assignments posted, but hasn't graded anything or even replied to any inbox questions or noticed that the discussion area is filled with students asking where is the professor, why are some assignments missing, etc.

The other professor has really confusing assignments. The instructions are sometimes four pages long, but ramble on so much I can't tell what I'm supposed to actually submit.

Is there some procedure for dropping and obtaining a refund? The policies of letting you drop only in the first day seems to assume that they have professional professors. But they don't.
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#2
(02-09-2019, 08:13 PM)Pelican Wrote: I signed up for a couple of on-line courses from a local community college. Within a week, I noticed that the professors did not know what they were doing, but the school said you can only get a refund on tuition if you withdraw within the first day.

Now I'm four weeks in. One professor has some assignments posted, but hasn't graded anything or even replied to any inbox questions or noticed that the discussion area is filled with students asking where is the professor, why are some assignments missing, etc.

The other professor has really confusing assignments. The instructions are sometimes four pages long, but ramble on so much I can't tell what I'm supposed to actually submit.

Is there some procedure for dropping and obtaining a refund? The policies of letting you drop only in the first day seems to assume that they have professional professors. But they don't.

The procedures are determined by the school. We don't have that information; you haven't supplied the name of the school. The bursar handles refunds, the registrar normally handles dropping classes, and the department chair would normally handle complaints about professors.
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#3
no way to get a refund, but you can make yourself feel better by making use of
https://www.ratemyprofessors.com/
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#4
Usually there's a way to rate the professor and class through the college too.
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#5
Talk to the department head for that class's subject
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#6
(02-09-2019, 08:13 PM)Pelican Wrote: I signed up for a couple of on-line courses from a local community college. Within a week, I noticed that the professors did not know what they were doing, but the school said you can only get a refund on tuition if you withdraw within the first day.

Now I'm four weeks in. One professor has some assignments posted, but hasn't graded anything or even replied to any inbox questions or noticed that the discussion area is filled with students asking where is the professor, why are some assignments missing, etc.

The other professor has really confusing assignments. The instructions are sometimes four pages long, but ramble on so much I can't tell what I'm supposed to actually submit.

Is there some procedure for dropping and obtaining a refund? The policies of letting you drop only in the first day seems to assume that they have professional professors. But they don't.

You probably won't get a refund- the deadline has passed, but that's not your problem right now as I see it. IMO, if you don't plan on finishing strong, you need to withdrawal to preserve your GPA- which will absolutely be determined by these classes, rubbish or otherwise.
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#7
What state are you on. I think it varies by state and/or district. At my college they give you dates on when you an withdraw with a refund and when you can withdraw with a W. Its usually a week or two if I recall correctly.
Also you may want to talk to the department chair or dean. Might look into another college too if they let this fly. My first Business class was Business Introduction that I took just to get credits. The professor kept on cancelling classes due to health issues. After two weeks it became a big deal and they almost cancelled the class. One day I showed up late to class and there was a different professor in her place. I missed the whole explanation of what happened. I guess the dean had hired him on a quick notice in the old professor's place. The new professor was great too he was a lawyer and a CPA. Really learned a lot from him. A few weeks later they gave him a certificate of appreciation for stepping in such short notice.
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#8
At the school, the last day to get a refund is the first day of class, so there isn't really any chance to learn what the class is like. I contacted the academic advisors about the process, and they said I need to contact the dean, but the dean is the teacher of the class.
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#9
(02-12-2019, 07:11 AM)Pelican Wrote: At the school, the last day to get a refund is the first day of class, so there isn't really any chance to learn what the class is like. I contacted the academic advisors about the process, and they said I need to contact the dean, but the dean is the teacher of the class.

The dean of a department is usually the final authority for students in those programs, so if the dean is also the instructor of your course (that seems odd to me, no wonder they are too busy to respond to the students) then you may just be out of luck. Either way, you should first try to arrange an appointment to speak with them about this issue, even if it is with their class.

If you cannot reach your instructor, or you don't get a proper resolution (conflict of interest perhaps), then there may be a chancellor or president (or something equivalent) who is responsible for the overall management of the college. If you have an unresolved issue with a dean, you may have to speak to them in order to get a resolution. For smaller schools (you mentioned this was a CC so that may be the case here), there may only be a single dean who is responsible for all the college programs and nobody sits above them. In that case, I doubt there is anyone else you can speak with.

If the school policy is you can only get a refund on tuition if you withdraw on the first day (which seems a bit harsh to me either way) then my bet is that they won't budge on the policy.

Good luck. Smile
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#10
(02-12-2019, 07:11 AM)Pelican Wrote: At the school, the last day to get a refund is the first day of class, so there isn't really any chance to learn what the class is like. I contacted the academic advisors about the process, and they said I need to contact the dean, but the dean is the teacher of the class.

bummer. This is probably a small school - bigger schools don't have teaching requirements written into their deans' contracts (dept chairs usually yes, mine required it). If this teacher really is the dean, you'll have to find out who the next tier supervisor is. It appears as if people are wearing many hats, so if that's true, this might be a chore. But by now I hope you've withdrawn or are doing the class- because if not, these zeros are going follow you onto the transcript.
Drop now- fight later.
Jennifer
10-year member

MS Applied Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, NY
Premed/Prenursing Sciences, 2011 Ocean County College, NJ
BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
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