Tuition and Fees
The following topics are covered below:
*CREDIT CARD, PAYPAL, AND WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENTS
*TUITION IS PRO RATED AS FOLLOWS . . .
*LEAVES OF ABSENCE
*WITHDRAWAL AND REFUNDS
*RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENT TO STAY CURRENT IN THEIR TUITION PAYMENTS
*POLICY ON CANCELLATION OF ENROLLMENT AND REFUND OF INITIAL TUITION PAYMENT
*STUDENT TUITION RECOVERY FUND
*IF NECESSARY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTACT THE STATE OVERSIGHT AGENCY
*TUITION CHARGES FOR STUDENTS AT WISR NOT SEEKING A DEGREE
*REQUIRED DISCLOSURES REGARDING WISR’S STATE LICENSED, UNACREDITED DEGREES AND REGARDING WISR’S FINANCIAL INTEGRITY
Tuition is $7,500/year. Students may make monthly payments of $625/month, 2012. Students who choose to make semi-annual payments will receive a semi-annual discount of $200, so that the semi-annual payment will be $3,550. Students who make an annual payment will receive a $600 discount for the year, so that the annual payment will be $6,900. Student tuition will NOT be increased for the fiscal year July 2016-June 2017, despite increased costs, and even though this will be the fifth consecutive year that tuition has been steady at $7,500/year.
Exception: Students enrolled in WISR’s Fall 2016 cohort group in the BS program pay only $5,100/year ($425/month).
For Information about $225/month deferred tuition option and limited number of work-study positions available, see “Financial Aid” below.
Students are not responsible for paying tuition for any portion of a year in which they are not enrolled, whether it is due to graduation or withdrawal. Students may enroll on the first day of any month of the year. They may withdraw on any date, by giving written notice to WISR’s President of their decision to withdraw. (See specific refund and withdrawal policies, below). Students graduate on the last day of the month in which they complete all requirements and are approved for graduation by their Graduation Review Board.
Total Program Costs:
Since the completion date for all academic programs, at WISR and elsewhere, cannot be precisely determined in advance, the total length of time, and cost, of a degree program at WISR cannot be projected in advance. The length of time to complete a program is influenced by each student’s life circumstances and the intensity with which they choose to pursue their studies. The Frequently Asked Questions section of our catalogue and this website discusses the approximate lengths of time that many students have taken to complete each program in previous years. If for an extended period of time (6 months or longer) a student anticipates that she or he will not be able to actively pursue her or his studies at WISR, the student is advised to consider withdrawing for that period and then re-enrolling.
However, the State requires that we provide an scheduled timetable for completing each degree program—for the purposes of reporting data to the State in the annual reports, for providing information to prospective students in the School Performance Fact Sheet, and for providing one scheduled timetable in this catalog, on our website, and in our enrollment agreements with each student. In arriving at the scheduled timetables for each degree program, we have assumed that many students may choose to move at the equivalent of a part-time pace, if they have especially busy and demanding work and family commitments.
We have decided to use 6 years as the scheduled timetable for completing the doctoral degree, the extensive Master’s program leading to the MFT and/or LPCC licenses, and for the BS program. And, we have used 4 years as the scheduled timetable for completing the other (non-MFT) Master’s program in Education and Community Leadership.
Our actual experience is that some students choose to take even longer than these schedules due to work and family responsibilities, for example. Many students complete these programs in much shorter periods of time. These timetables also don’t take into account how the transferring of previous academic credit, especially in the BS program, may substantially reduce the time necessary to complete a degree at WISR.
Using these scheudles, and using our current annual tuition of $7,500/year and a $600 enrollment fee, Total Costs for the EdD, MS program leading toward MFT and/or LPCC licenses, and BS programs is $45,600. The Total Cost for the MS program NOT leading toward State counseling licensure is $30,600.
WISR’s Board of Trustees has decided that modest tuition increases of about $25/month probably will be necessary every year or two. WISR’s faculty and Board devote considerable energy and thought to keeping WISR’s tuition as affordable as possible, while still maintaining an extraordinary high level of quality of education. The vast majority of each student’s tuition goes toward instructional costs, with minimal amounts being spent on administrative and institutional overhead costs. Whenever a tuition increase is necessary, the Board will announce about May 1 of each year the tuition rate for the coming fiscal year (July-June).
Upon enrollment, or re-enrollment in the case of students who have taken a break from their studies at WISR, a $600 enrollment fee, $250 of which is non-refundable, is due, and the rest of which is pro-rated as per refund policies noted in this section.
CREDIT CARD, PAYPAL, AND WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENTS.
Students may choose to pay their tuition by using their Visa, Master, and Discover Card credit cards. Those wishing to make a credit card payment should contact WISR’s President, either over the phone or on site at WISR. Students may also pay tuition to WISR through paypal by entering WISR’s e-mail address for the merchant account: email@example.com Also, students in other countries often make payments to WISR by direct wire transfers to WISR’s bank.
Unfortunately, WISR students do not have access to scholarships, nor to Federal grant and loan programs. Because WISR is very small by design, and is not accredited, our students are not eligible for Federal and bank-funded student loans. Furthermore, lending institutions are not required by law to defer student loan repayments that WISR students may have acquired elsewhere prior to enrolling at WISR. In some cases, WISR students have successfully negotiated this with lenders, but because WISR students are not eligible for student loan monies, the lenders are not obliged to defer the student’s payments.
Fortunately, our tuition is much more affordable than the tuition at most other institutions, and students may make monthly payments throughout their enrollment at WISR.
DEFERRED TUITION OPTION! Although WISR has no access to Federal grants or loans, students will have the option of having a tuition deferment of $225/month—with 0% interest while enrolled, and 5% interest when no longer enrolled, whether by graduation or taking a leave of absence, or dropping out. The deferred tuition is to be paid back once a student is no longer enrolled at a minimum payment rate of $225/month. Student out of pocket tuition cost for those choosing this option is only $400/month ($4,800/year), or for those in the BS cohort group $200/month or $2,400/year out of pocket.
LIMITED NUMBER OF WORK-STUDY POSITIONS: In addition, there will be a limited number of institutional work-study positions available. WISR has some needed work that can be performed by a few qualified students at a rate of 6 hours work for $100. At this point, work-study earnings are limited to a maximum of $500/year.Likely types of work include, community outreach to prospective students and organizations where prospective students might work or otherwise be involved, cataloging books for WISR’s library, or clerical and administrative assistance. Interested students will be interviewed, and selections will be made based on student skills, motivations and the student’s available time to do the needed work.
However, if a student chooses the new deferred tuition option, or if they are grandparented into WISR’s, previously suspended, partial tuition deferment program, the student should know that he or she will have the responsibility to repay the full amount of the deferred tuition, less the amount of any refund owed to them.
A student registers at WISR by signing an WISR ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT (Tuition Contract) and paying the necessary tuition and fees, and discussing initial study plans with a faculty adviser. The ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT outlines the obligations and commitments of WISR and of the student. When first enrolling, a student must pay at least the first month’s tuition, or $625 in addition to the $600 enrollment fee.
The tuition rate on the student’s initial WISR ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT stays in force, unless the student wishes to change his or her payment plan (e.g., from monthly to semi-annual, or from annual to semi-annual), or until the Board announces in writing a tuition increase (see above), and the student enters into a new agreement based on that change. Students also receive information about the State’s Student Tuition Recovery Fund.
TUITION IS PRO RATED AS FOLLOWS . . .
Students never pay for tuition for any period of time covered in their enrollment agreement, if they withdraw or graduate before the end of the period specified in that enrollment agreement. (See refund policies below). If a student withdraws from enrollment during a period for which tuition has been paid, s/he will receive a refund according to the refund policies stated below.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE.
Students may take a Leave of Absence for a minimum of six (6) months, at any time, with notice by the end of the month prior to the Leave. Students may not take a leave for a just a couple of months; it is expected that most students will take vacations, get ill, and have special family and job demands and crises that may make it difficult or even impossible for them to attend to their WISR studies for several months out of the year. WISR operates on a 12 month calendar so that students can be heavily involved in their studies for as little as 8 or so months out of the year, or for all 12 months of the year. However, if a student believes that he or she will not be able to get much done in the coming 6 months, for any reason, personal, financial, job, health or other reasons, then it is best to take a break for 6 months or longer, until the student has the time, energy and/or funds to be engaged in her or his studies more than a little bit. During a leave a student may attend seminars (but not for credit or to meet WISR requirements) to stay somewhat connected to WISR, but may not meet with her or his faculty adviser or receive credit for work performed during the leave period. Work performed during a leave is considered the same as prior experience, and is not eligible for credit as such. When the student is ready to re-enroll–at any time after the six month minimum period–he or she may re-enroll by paying the $600 re-enrollment fee (naturally, the student is not charged tuition during the period of their Leave). However, if the student owes back tuition, they will not be allowed to re-enroll unless they first negotiate with a Board representative an acceptable and realistic re-payment plan on top of the regular tuition that they will be paying once re-enrolled.
WITHDRAWAL AND REFUNDS . . .
A student may withdraw at any time. Notice of cancellation of an Enrollment Agreement must be in writing to WISR’s President, and a withdrawal may be effectuated by the student’s conduct, including, but not necessarily limited to, a student’s lack of attendance. The student will receive a refund of any tuition already paid according to the following guidelines. If a student withdraws after instruction begins, but before the end of the first month of enrollment or re-enrollment (that is, after the cancellation period described above), they are entitled to a full refund of all charges, less $250 and a portion of the $625 first month’s tuition prorated on a daily basis. If a student withdraws during the first 60 % (percent) of an enrollment period as specified in their enrollment agreement, the student will receive a pro-rata refund on a daily basis of any tuition already paid beyond the date of withdrawal, minus $250 of the $600 enrollment fee. If the student withdraws after 60% (percent) of the enrollment agreement period, the student will receive a pro-rata refund on a daily basis, minus the $600 enrollment fee. That is, their tuition refund will be computed by calculating all monies for which they have paid tuition for an enrollment period, then charging them the daily rate for the period enrolled, and refunding them the balance of the tuition monies paid for that enrollment period. That is, in no case will the student be responsible to pay tuition for days for which they have contracted in the Enrollment Agreement, when they have chosen to withdraw before the end of that period and when they will not then be enrolled for some of those contracted months. WISR will also refund money collected for a student’s tuition from a third party on the student’s behalf. Refunds will be paid within 30 days of cancellation or withdrawal. A student who withdraws and wishes to later re-enroll is subject to the policies on Leaves of Absence (see above).
Students making monthly payments have until the end of the month to make their payment for that month without the payment being late. The first month in a fiscal year that a student is late in making their tuition payment, they will be assessed a late fee of $25/month. However, in any additional month(s) in that fiscal year in which a student is late or behind in their tuition payment(s), they will be charged a $50/month late fee.
RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENT TO STAY CURRENT IN THEIR TUITION PAYMENTS.
Because WISR makes every effort to keep its tuition affordable by charging a little as possible, and since students are allowed to improve their cash flow by making monthly payments, it is absolutely crucial that students make timely payments of their tuition (by the last day of the month in which the tuition is due). Students who fall two or more months behind in their tuition payments are subject to disenrollment for a minimum of 6 (six) months, and will not get credit for work done during that period, and will be charged the $600 re-enrollment fee upon return to enrollment at WISR, assuming they also have taken care of their owed tuition and late fees, either by paying in full, or by paying a portion and successfully negotiating with the Board financial representative a payment plan that they will adhere to.
POLICY ON CANCELLATION OF ENROLLMENT AND REFUND OF INITIAL TUITION PAYMENT.
The student has a right to cancel their enrollment agreement and obtain a refund. Such cancellation must be in writing to the President at WISR, 2930 Shattuck Ave., Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94705. The student has the right to cancel the enrollment agreement and obtain a refund of charges paid through attendance at the first class session, or the seventh day after enrollment, whichever is later. If a student withdraws after instruction begins, but before the end of the first month of enrollment or re-enrollment (that is, after the cancellation period described above), they will be refunded all except $250 of the $600 enrollment fee, and a portion of the $625 first month’s tuition prorated on a daily basis. Notice of cancellation of an Enrollment Agreement must be in writing to WISR’s President, and a withdrawal may also be effectuated by the student’s conduct, including, but not necessarily limited to, a student’s lack of attendance.
STUDENT TUITION RECOVERY FUND.
You must pay the state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery fund (STRF) if all of the following applies to you.
1. You are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition either by cash, guaranteed student loans, or personal loans, and
2. Your total charges are not paid by any third-party payer such as an employer, government program or other payer unless you have a separate agreement to repay the third party.
You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if either of the following applies:
1. You are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program, or
2. Your total charges are paid by a third party, such as an employer, government program or other payer, and you have no separate agreement to repay the third party.
The State of California created the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic losses suffered by students in educational programs who are California residents, or are enrolled in a residency programs attending certain schools regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
You may be eligible for STRF if you are a California resident or are enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:
1. The school closed before the course of instruction was completed.
2. The school’s failure to pay refunds or charges on behalf of a student to a third party for license fees or any other purpose, or to provide equipment or materials for which a charge was collected within 180 days before the closure of the school.
3. The school’s failure to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federally guaranteed student loan program as required by law or to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the school prior to closure in excess of tuition and other costs.
4. There was a material failure to comply with the Act or this Division within 30 days before the school closed or, if the material failure began earlier than 30 days prior to closure, the period determined by the Bureau.
5. An inability after diligent efforts to prosecute, prove, and collect on a judgment against the institution for a violation of the Act.”
However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.
Assessments to be paid by WISR students: When students enroll, re-enroll, or continue their enrollment into July and beyond into a subsequent fiscal year, they will be charged the current rate (currently, subject to change by the State) the State no longer charges a STRF fee. The STRF, and this protection, do not apply to students living outside California, nor to students whose tuition is paid by a third party, such as the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
However, at this time (as of November 2015), those eligible for protection by the STRF are not required to make payments, because the fund is at a level where the State is, for now, not requiring payments by eligible students. The STRF still only covers those students noted above.
It is important that you keep copies of the enrollment agreement, financial aid papers, receipts or any other information or documents of the monies you paid to the school. Questions regarding STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, (916) 431-6959, or toll free: (888) 370-7589. The Bureau’s e-mail address can be found atwww.bppe.ca.gov Mail address: BPPE, PO Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818.
Students who receive monies from the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or other third party payers (i.e., “an employer, government program or other payer that pays a student’s total charges directly to the institution when no separate agreement for the repayment of that payment exists between the third-party and the student”) are not eligible for the STRF and also do not have to make payments for this fee. This is also the case for students who are not California residents. Submit requests for STRF Claim Forms to: Student Tuition Recovery Fund, Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, (916) 431-6959, or toll free: (888) 370-7589. www.bppe.ca.gov [e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] Mail address: BPPE, PO Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818.
IF NECESSARY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTACT THE STATE OVERSIGHT AGENCY.
Any questions a student may have regarding this catalog that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, www.bppe.ca.gov Telephone (888) 370-7589 or by fax (916) 263-1897
A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888)370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau’s internet Web site www.bppe.ca.gov
Indeed, WISR takes the position that consumer protection and student rights are important to a healthy postsecondary education system in California. WISR has an impeccable history of perfect compliance with state law since we were first approved* in 1977 [*Under current State law, Approved” means, “approval to operate” which means compliance with state standards as set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter )], and there have been no complaints against us in that entire time. Furthermore, in order to promote consumer protection, high quality education, and institutional integrity and credibility among institutions of private postsecondary education, WISR has taken a leadership role with about a dozen other institutions to form the Association for Private Postsecondary Education in California (APPEC).
TUITION CHARGES FOR STUDENTS AT WISR NOT SEEKING A DEGREE.
Please consult our web page (or online catalogue section) on “Non-Degree Learning” to find about tuition charges for students seeking to receive credit for only one or two independent study courses, for a single workshop, or for non-credit instruction.
REQUIRED DISCLOSURES REGARDING WISR’S UNACREDITED DEGREES AND REGARDING WISR’S FINANCIAL INTEGRITY.
Quite appropriately, the State of California requires that WISR, and all unaccredited, State licensed schools, colleges and universities, disclose to prospective students possible limitations students may subsequently encounter in using their State licensed, but unaccredited degrees. We have discussed the uses and limitations of WISR degrees at great length in these other sections of our website and online catalogue, in particular, please consult the section, “Learning About WISR.”
We repeat some of the highlights of the points mentioned elsewhere in this section on “Tuition and Fees” because it is important for prospective students to be aware of the most important limitations they may encounter in using a WISR degree.
In compliance with Assembly Bill 2296, Chapter 585, Statutes of 2012, effective January 1, 2013, WISR discloses the following:
- WISR offers unaccredited BS, MS and Doctoral degrees—that is, WISR is not accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).
- WISR’s degree programs are approved by the State Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education [ “Approved” means, “approval to operate” which means compliance with state standards as set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter )]. More information may be obtained from the Bureau’s website: www.bppe.ca.gov
- Graduates of WISR’s MS in Psychology program that is designed to meet the State’s academic requirements for the MFT and LPCC licenses, respectively, are eligible to sit for those licensure exams in California after meeting the other requirements (most notably, sufficient hours of supervised internship). WISR makes no claims that students may sit for licensing exams in other states. Students and prospective students interested in licensing in other states should contact those states for definitive information. Oftentimes, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) will be able to help its student members of that association learn how to obtain information from other states.
- Students and prospective students should know that a degree program that is unaccredited or from an unaccredited institution is not recognized for some employment positions, including, but not limited to, positions with the State of California.
- Students enrolled in unaccredited institutions are not eligible for federal financial aid programs.
- Further information regarding required disclaimers is below . . .
1. TRANSFER OF CREDIT TO, AND USE OF DEGREES IN, ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS:
Generally speaking, it is wise not to expect to transfer credit at the graduate level (MS or Doctoral) between two institutions, because most graduate programs want students to all of their graduate degree program work at that institution. Transferring credit at the BS level is not so difficult between accredited institutions, but since WISR is State licensed and unaccredited, those considering WISR’s BS program should NOT plan to transfer ANY of their undergraduate credit to an accredited institution, nor use their BS degree itself (for admissions to a graduate program in an accredited institution). Specifically:
The transferability of credits you earn at WISR is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the BS or MS you earn at WISR is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending WISR to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.
NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION
The transferability of credits you earn at the Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree or academic credits you earn in the Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degee that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending WISR to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.
2. USES AND LIMITATIONS OF WISR’S UNACCREDITED DEGREES TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT AND LICENSURE:
Only one of WISR’s degree programs is specifically designed to lead to employment in a specific career—the MS in Psychology that meets the State’s academic requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license, and more recently the LPCC license, as well, is designed to help students move toward eventual licensing and careers and employment as licensed MFTs (and for some as LPCCs as well). The significant and typical successes of our MFT program alumni in accomplishing these particular employment and licensing goals is described in our “School Performance Fact Sheet for the MFT Program” which is on our website and available as a hard copy, upon request.
Although the success of WISR alumni in professional advancement and employment is very impressive and well documented, the success of any one student in using their degree from WISR to obtain a particular job definitely CANNOT BE GUARANTEED OR EVEN EXPECTED. Although WISR has been State Approved* since 1977 [ *Under current California law, Approved” means, “approval to operate” which means compliance with state standards as set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter )], it is not regionally or nationally accredited, and indeed, very tiny institutions such as WISR are seldom, if ever, even evaluated by the regional accrediting agency, and the relevant national agencies do not evaluate institutions offering PhD programs. IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT WISR’S DEGREES ARE UNACCREDITED, AND THEREFORE, WISR STUDENTS AND ALUMNI MAY SOMETIMES BE ELIMINATED FROM CONSIDERATION FOR SOME JOBS, AS WELL AS FOR LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION IN MOST FIELDS IN OTHER STATES.
The actual experience of WISR students is that they are mostly satisfactorily employed in jobs and careers that they have desired, oftentimes with much greater success than they even hoped for prior to enrolling at WISR. Nevertheless, there are fairly common instances where students and alumni have found that they are eliminated from consideration for some jobs and promotions in public agencies (Federal, State, County, City) when for reasons of legality or bureaucratic convenience, the public agency stipulates that an accredited degree is required for a particular position. Seldom, if ever, have our alumni or students encountered difficulties, because of WISR’s unaccredited status, in obtaining jobs in non-profit and community-based agencies. Similarly, WISR students and alumni have in many cases been successful in obtaining foundation grants, being hired as consultants, and writing books and articles for publication. Although WISR alumni have sometimes been hired for faculty-time faculty positions in large, accredited institutions (e.g., San Francisco State, University of California, Morris Brown University), and many have obtained part-time positions in such institutions, it is well documented that many college and university hiring committees will not consider applicants holding unaccredited degrees.
3. WISR’S FINANCIAL INTEGRITY: WISR has never had a pending petition in bankruptcy, is not operating as a debtor in possession, has never filed a petition for bankruptcy, and has never had a petition in bankruptcy filed against it that resulted in reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.
4. ACCESS TO WISR’S ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE STATE: The State of California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) is making the annual reports of all State approved* institutions, including WISR, [*Under current State law, Approved” means, “approval to operate” which means compliance with state standards as set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter )] available on the State’s website at: https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/bppe/annual_report.php .