This Policy Guideline addresses when deposits can be collected, by both licensed private career schools and English as Second Language (ESL) schools, toward satisfaction of tuition or fees before an enrollment agreement is executed.
Licensed private career schools may use deposits as a method of payment under Commissioner’s regulation 126.7(b)(9), before student enrollment, toward satisfaction of any part of its tuition or fees, but any such deposit must be completely refunded, as required by Commissioner’s regulation 126.7(d)(7), if an enrollment agreement applicable to a student who paid the deposit is not subsequently signed by that student and a duly certified private career school agent. After an enrollment agreement applicable to a student who has paid a deposit is executed as required, then the school shall be subject to the refund and retention provisions of Commissioner’s regulations at 126.7(d)(8) and 126.7(d)(9).
ESL schools may also use deposits as a method of payment under Commissioner’s regulation 126.10(j)(6)(ii)(f), before student enrollment, toward satisfaction of any part of its tuition or fees, but any such deposit must be completely refunded according to the terms and conditions of the schools’ enrollment agreement, as provided in the Commissioner’s regulations at 126.10(j)(6)(ii)(e) and 126.10(j)(6)(ii)(i), which require that the following be included the agreement, respectively:
[T]he full contract price for instruction, including all fees, tuition, and costs of textbooks, materials, and equipment
[T]he refund the school will make in the event a student fails to enter, withdraws or is discontinued from instruction which is consistent with the refund policy submitted to the department, pursuant to the requirement in subclause (2)(i)(b)(3) of this subdivision [126.10(j)].
However, ESL schools must ensure that their enrollment agreements are presented for review to any prospective student before the student pays any such deposit, so that the student knows whether the deposit may not be returned, whether because it is designated as non-refundable or for any other reason.