GRADUATE DIRECT ADMISSION TERMS & CONDITIONS
IMPORTANT: During the current COVID-19 pandemic, certain terms and conditions below are superseded by updates that can be found at this link: https://www.studygroup.com/study/us-online-learning
1. TERMS & CONDITIONS
These are the Terms and Conditions of the agreement between Study Group USA Higher Education LLC, dba International Study Center (‘Study Group’), as a representative of Western Washington University (‘University’), and the Student (‘Student’). If the Student is under the age of 18, the term ‘Student’ includes the responsible party (i.e. sponsor, parent, legal guardian or representative) advocating on behalf of the Student.
1a. The Terms and Conditions outlined in this document are effective upon completion of the confirmation process, as detailed in Section 3 below. These Terms and Conditions supersede any promises, representations and warranties, whether written or oral, made by or on behalf of the Student, the University, or Study Group.
1b. The Student should read these Terms and Conditions carefully before signing his/her application for admission. If necessary, the Student should obtain translating assistance to fully comprehend these Terms and Conditions prior to signing the Acceptance of Offer Form.
2. CHANGES TO TERMS & CONDITIONS
Study Group reserves the right to amend the Terms and Conditions as needed. The Student agrees to comply with the most current version of the Terms and Conditions, which can be found online at http://international.wwu.edu/terms-and-conditions.
2a. All students are bound by the regulations, policies and procedures of the University as amended from time to time. The most current version is available at https://policy.wwu.edu/policies-by-subject.
OFFER, CONFIRMATION & DEPOSIT
3. CONFIRMATION OF OFFER
Upon admission to the University, Study Group issues a written offer. In order to accept the offer, the Student must sign the Acceptance of Offer Form and remit a $3,000 deposit payment to Study Group. This denotes completion of the confirmation process and acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
The Student is required to pay a $3,000 deposit directly to Study Group before they receive an I-20 form from the University. Students accepted by the University after the deposit due date are required to pay the deposit immediately upon receipt of the student visa.
5. DEPOSIT REFUND POLICY
The $3,000 deposit is refundable only if a student has been denied a visa (subject to submission of an official denial-of-visa letter) or if a student has a documented extreme circumstance that has been vetted and approved by Study Group. See Section 10 for relevant cancellation details for students who have met visa entry requirements.
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND POLICIES
6. PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY
The price for the University program does not include the following expenses:
- Personal spending money.
- Insurance for pre-existing medical conditions, i.e., ailments which exist prior to arrival in the U.S.
- Meal and housing costs during the times when the University is not in academic session.
- University textbooks and other necessary school supplies.
- Air fare to and from U.S. domestic airport closest to the University campus in the U.S. (a round trip ticket is required).
7. FULL PAYMENT
The balance of the fees for the first term must be paid to the University on the first day of the term. All fees for second or subsequent study terms must be paid on the term start date. Pricing is subject to change. See Section 18 for price amendment details.
7a. Any variation to standard payment terms must be made in advance and agreed to in writing. The Student will not be permitted to register for his/her program and courses until full payment has been made.
8. OVERDUE PAYMENT
Students with outstanding balances will be placed on hold by the University until payment is made in full. Failure to make payment in full by the payment deadline may lead to penalties and may result in a revocation of the I-20, which will impact the ability of the Student to remain in the U.S.
9. PAYMENT PROCESS FOR CONFIRMATION DEPOSIT
Payment can be made to Study Group using a number of payment options via the How to Pay online platform. Access to this platform can be found at http://international.wwu.edu/admissions/fees/how-to-pay.
9a. Certain payment options will carry a processing fee of 2.5%. We reserve the right to alter this charge from time to time. If you choose to pay in your local currency, a foreign exchange rate will apply. The applicable exchange rate can be viewed online at the time and date of the payment. Bank charges and commission for both the sending and receiving banks will be paid by the sender of funds, or they will be applied to the student’s account.
10a. Pre-Arrival Cancellation
If a confirmed student cancels prior to the published start of scheduled classes, Study Group will retain the $3,000 tuition fee deposit.
10a1. Cancellation Due to Exceptional Circumstances
If a confirmed student cancels prior to the published arrival date due to a documented, exceptional circumstance (e.g. bereavement, illness, etc.), a refund of the tuition fee deposit may be awarded at the discretion of Study Group on a case by case basis. Supporting documentation must be provided by the Student to Study Group by the first day of classes to be eligible for a refund.
10b. Cancellation Due to Visa Denial
If a confirmed student’s visa has been rejected and there is documented evidence that the denial was not a result of fraud or student error, the $3,000 deposit will be fully refunded. Written notification and documentation of an official denial-of-visa letter must be submitted no later than four weeks after the first day of classes to be eligible for a refund.
10b1. If a visa denial occurs as a result of an error made by Study Group, a full refund of all monies paid by the Student will be issued.
10c. Program Cancellation
If Study Group or the University cancels a program prior to the Student’s start date, Study Group, will refund all monies paid by the Student.
10d. Cancellation Notification. Cancellation may occur when the Student provides a written notice of cancellation by email to Study Group. Email cancellation notifications should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The written notice of cancellation is effective on the date the email is received by Study Group.
Once classes begin, the Student is subject to University withdrawal policies as outlined: http://www.wwu.edu/registrar/registration/Policies/student_responsibilities.shtml.
12. UNIVERSITY REFUND POLICY
The University refund policy can be found at http://www.wwu.edu/registrar/registration/Policies/student_responsibilities.shtml. Frequently asked questions about refunds can be found at https://wp.wwu.edu/sbo/2016/07/21/refunding-faq/.
If an applicant accepted by Study Group defers to the next intake, all funds received will be applied to the next intake and will not be refunded. Applicants can defer for up to one academic year without penalty. Applicants who request subsequent deferrals must reapply.
13a. All requests to defer a program must be received in writing by Study Group no later than four weeks after the first day of classes.
13b. Students with a medical necessity must provide notification and written documentation to Study Group prior to the published program start date. Deferrals in this situation will be granted at the discretion of Study Group and/or the University on a case by case basis.
13c. If an applicant is accepted and has paid their deposit but receives a visa too late to begin classes in time, the applicant may defer to the next intake, if the exact same program is offered. If the same program is unavailable within 6 months of the deferral, the applicant will receive a full refund. All funds received will be applied to the next intake and will not be refunded. If the exact program is available within six months’ time and the applicant chooses not to defer, the applicant will forfeit the $3,000 deposit.
POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS
14. STUDENT CONDUCT & RULES
All Students are subject to the rules of the University in which they are enrolled. The Student must assume full responsibility for compliance. Student Policies and Procedures for the University are available at https://wp.wwu.edu/officeofstudentlife/student-conduct/.
14a. By signing the Acceptance of Offer Form the Student is acknowledging they agree to adhere to University policies, including, but not limited to all housing, and rules including payment, withdrawal, and cancellation regulations at the University. Rules governing alcohol, tobacco, controlled drugs, and other serious offenses will be strictly enforced. International students in the U.S. must comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law in order to retain valid student visas. Violations of such laws/policies will render the Student liable for immediate dismissal from the program and repatriation to the home country, and possible legal prosecution for violation of the laws of the state or federal jurisdictions involved. No refund will be given in cases of suspension, expulsion or administrative separation.
The Student may challenge decisions through established procedures for appeals. Information regarding the University’s appeals procedures for conduct can be found at https://wp.wwu.edu/officeofstudentlife/student-conduct-flowchart-appeals-reviews/. Information pertaining to the Study Group appeals process can be found in the Study Group Student Handbook.
16. LATE ARRIVALS
All students are expected to arrive and start their program on the published arrival date for their program. All late arrivals must be approved in advance and will be considered on a case by case basis. Deposits, tuition, accommodation costs, or other fees will not be prorated for late arrivals. An unapproved late arrival may result in the Student being unable to attend classes for the term and/or enter the U.S. and may also require that the Student return to his/her home country until the next available term.
17. HEALTH INSURANCE
U.S. based health insurance is mandatory for all students. An approved insurance plan will be automatically added to the Student’s invoice or directly invoiced by the University. Not all services are covered by the insurance provided, and the Student is responsible for any outstanding balances for non-covered services. Insurance policies based in countries outside of the U.S. will not be accepted as reasonable substitutes, except for pre-approved governmental-sponsored programs.
Prices for programs, fees, and insurance are subject to change without notice. Current pricing can be found at http://international.wwu.edu/admissions/fees. Published prices are relevant only for the year specified. Prices are adjusted at a minimum annually to reflect amendments made by the University and Study Group to their tuition and fees.
19. VACATION, HOLIDAYS, AND CLOSURES
The Student should familiarize themselves with the University’s calendar (http://www.wwu.edu/registrar/calendars/index.shtml) for holidays and vacations. Classes will not be held on designated school vacations and may be cancelled on public holidays. Study Group does not make reimbursements for classes not offered due to planned or unplanned school closures.
20. STUDENT INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION
The Student must supply Study Group with personal email addresses and mobile/cell numbers throughout the admission and confirmation process, to ensure that communication, to include transmission of student reports, may always be maintained. Contact information must be up-to-date and operational. Any changes must be reported to Study Group by the Student within 24 hours of the change occurring.
20a. The Student (and their responsible party – parent, guardian, etc. – where applicable) agree that his/her images, sound, testimonials, achievements, videos, and details may be used in any media for promotional purposes without written consent or notification and will remain in effect until formally withdrawn in writing. This includes permission to pass them on to third parties (agents, publications, etc.) at the discretion of Study Group as long as the images are used to publicize Study Group programs.
20c. Study Group respects the Student’s privacy and is committed to protecting your personal information. Further information on how Study Group looks after your personal information can be found in our Student Privacy Notice: https://corporate.studygroup.com/land/student-privacy-notice.
21. DATA PROTECTION
Any information provided to Study Group may be held on computer and shall be used in accordance with U.S. law, including FERPA, HIPAA, and ADA. Information provided to Study Group is held and processed for the purpose of administering the Student’s application and may be carried forward to the Student’s official student record, which holds data in electronic and paper form on personal details, academic and administrative history, and on relevant financial transactions. Upon completion of the Student’s program, the parts of his/her student record which the University needs to retain will be archived. Some information will also be processed for the purpose of managing the relationship with the Student as an alumnus. Other information will be destroyed. Throughout, the Student’s personal data will be held in accordance with current U.S. data protection law.
22. DAMAGE AND LIABILITY
Neither Study Group, the University, nor their staff or representatives, will be liable for any loss, damage, or injury to persons or property, except where the liability is specified by applicable law. Neither Study Group, the University, nor their staff or representatives will be liable if, for any reason--including low enrollment, they are not able to supply a service due to circumstances beyond their control.
22a. Any reference in these terms to liability of students shall be deemed to imply liability on the parent or financial sponsor, and such liability is joint and several. Students are responsible for payment for any damage caused by them to Study Group property, including fixtures and fittings in University-approved accommodation. Occupants of shared accommodation are jointly and severally liable for the proper care of rooms, fixtures and fittings and the University reserves the right to recover costs for damage or exceptional cleaning.
22b. The Student agrees to indemnify Study Group and its agents with regard to any financial obligations or liabilities that the Student may personally incur or any damage or injury to the person or property of others that the Student may cause while participating in this program. The program begins with the Student’s outbound flight to the U.S. and terminates when the return flight lands. The Student realizes that any airline’s liability for loss or damage to baggage or property, or for death or injury, is limited by the terms outlined by the airlines. We also understand that it is the Student’s responsibility to obtain a passport and any required visa.
22c. Study Group is not responsible for any loss or injury suffered by the applicant at any time while participating in the program, including but not limited to losses or injury suffered during periods of independent travel or absence from the program. The Student releases Study Group from all liability related to such actions.
23. MEDICAL CONSENT
If the Student becomes physically or mentally ill or incapacitated, Study Group may take such action as it considers necessary, including securing medical treatment and/or transportation at the Student’s own expense. The Student gives permission for the administration of first aid and gives permission to Study Group and designated representatives to seek medical, dental, or optical treatment when required. As the parent or legal guardian named, we do hereby authorize Study Group and its assigned agents, and any designated program representative, as agents of the undersigned parents, to consent to any x-ray examinations, anaesthetic, medical or surgical diagnosis or treatment, or hospital care which is deemed advisable by, and is rendered under, the general supervision of any licensed physician or surgeon, whether such treatment or diagnosis is rendered at the office of said physician or surgeon or at a hospital. It is understood that this authorization is not given in advance of any specific diagnosis, treatment or hospital care being required, but is given to provide authority and power on the part of aforesaid agents to give specific consent to any and all such diagnoses, treatments, or hospital care which the aforementioned physician or surgeon, in the exercise of her/his best judgment, may deem advisable.
Study Group takes great care in compiling and providing programs, facilities, and other arrangements in official online and print formats, and we believe all materials and services available to be accurate at the time of delivery. Study Group regularly reviews our materials and programs, which may be subject to change without notice.
25. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DIVERSITY
Study Group is an Equal Opportunity provider. Study Group and the University are committed to the elimination of discrimination and the provision of equal opportunity in education and employment. In compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, Study Group and its partners do not discriminate in any of policies, procedures, or practices. on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. This non-discrimination policy covers admission into and access to and employment in all programs and activities, including, but not limited to, academic admissions, financial aid, educational services, and employment.
If any provision of these Terms and Conditions is held to be invalid, illegal, void, or unenforceable, then such provision shall be modified by the proper court or other authority to the extent necessary and possible to make such provision enforceable, and such modified provision and all other provisions of these Terms and Conditions shall be given effect separately from the provision or portion thereof determined to be invalid, illegal, void or unenforceable and shall not be affected thereby.
27. GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION
These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the domestic laws of Bellingham, Washington, without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule that would cause the application of the laws of any other jurisdiction. Each of the parties submits to the jurisdiction of any state court sitting in Bellingham, Washington, in any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to these terms and conditions and agrees that all claims in respect of the action or proceeding may be heard and determined in any such court. Each party also agrees not to bring any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to these Terms and Conditions in any other court. Each of the parties waives any defense of inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any action or proceeding so brought and waives any bond, surety, or other security that might be required of any other party with respect thereto.
28. APPLYING FOR A VISA
Once the Student has been accepted, s/he will be provided with an I-20 from the United States Department of Homeland Security, issued by the University. This form will be generated upon receipt of deposit. An I-20 is required to start the process of obtaining a student visa to enter the United States. The Student will also be required to present financial documentation to the US consular office in the Student’s home country. It is recommended that all students apply for their visa as early as possible. The Student must notify Study Group directly once his/her visa status is known. The Student is required to notify their academic enrollment advisor when they have made an appointment and to notify their counsellor with the outcome of that appointment. The Student is also responsible for obtaining a passport.
Study Group USA Higher Education LLC, dba International Study Center
200 S Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606