Student Statement for Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) is committed to preserving the diversity of our campus population while maintaining the high academic standards needed to achieve our vision of being recognized as one of the best educational institutions in the subcontinent. Throughout our history, we have served the poor and minority students alongside the wealthy and powerful. In recent times, we have renewed our commitment to helping to educate minorities, marginalized communities and those from poor rural backgrounds. In addition, we focus on ways to attract more women to our campus, particularly those from areas with little or no access to education for women above the intermediate level. While it is important to focus on the admission of these groups, we also work to ensure ethnic diversity within our student population. This means that we actively recruit students from all areas of Pakistan and provide our current students and alumni with materials and information to assist with this in their home villages and schools.
While it is important that our students meet the academic criteria needed to be successful here, we recognize that many of our students from these targeted populations will be first generation or will have come from less academically rigorous institutions. For these reasons, we provide the students from minorities and marginalized communities with a slightly more lenient formula in our admissions assessment in order to assist them in being granted admission and have established an office that will focus solely on identifying and, to whatever extent possible, eliminating the reasons these students do not make it to graduation.
For students struggling to pay the admissions fees, exceptions can be made through application to the Financial Aid Office. This amount would then be taken from aid granted later. For many students, especially women, from areas outside the Punjab, residential space is essential for them to attend Forman. We have constructed a hostel for women that has sufficient space for the next several years for housing those who need it. We already have plans in place for housing them if and when that space is no longer sufficient. We are renovating and enlarging the men’s hostels and will begin fund raising for another one in the near future. In the meantime, there is hostel space reserved for students from various areas of the country with the least access to education. Hostel scholarships are offered to the neediest of our students. This ensures that poor but qualified students from areas outside Lahore will not be forced to turn down admission solely on the basis of financial need or a lack of a safe, clean place to live.
BILLING AND FEES ISSUES
What is the tax that is showing up on my billing statement?
According to the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 (under section 236 I), we have to collect an advance tax of 5% on your fees if they go over Rs 200,000/- per year. The fee includes tuition fee and all other charges on your account. So, your tuition, hostel occupancy, hostel mess, fines, admission fee, science fees etc. have to be combined. This is per year from July 1 until June 30 so it will include all semesters taken. (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
You are not taxed on securities (Hostel, General and Library) because these are refundable.
Up until now, the tax was charged to your account once you actually paid Rs. 200,000. However, this was very confusing so, in an effort to make it easier to understand and plan for, it is now being charged when the amount charged to your account has reached Rs. 200,000. This means that, you may have several instances in the course of a year when you will have tax charged. However, the total amount of tax charged will be 5% of the total amount charged to your account.
For example. If you are a BA (Hons)/BS (Hons) full time student, you will be charged 102,000 for Fall semester. That is less than Rs 200,000 so no tax will be charged. When you register for spring, you will go over 200,000 for the complete academic year, so tax will be charged on the total amount. In this example, that would be Rs 204,000 so the tax would be Rs 10,200. If you register for summer and take 6 credits, you would be charged Rs 37,662. Since you have already been charged the tax for the original Rs 204,000, you will not be taxed on that part again. However, you will see a tax amount for Rs 1,883 (5% of 37, 662). Once you pass Rs 200,000, any time an amount is charged to your account, a 5% tax will also be applied.
The GOOD NEWS: This tax can be adjusted in your parent’s/guardian’s Income Tax Return. FCCU will issue Advance Tax Certificate in this regard upon request.
Why do we pay extra for science lab courses when we already pay for the fourth credit?
The cost we charge per credit is charged to cover the cost of the having the course. This includes the salary of the instructor as well as the cost of running the electricity, air conditioning/heat, furniture and maintenance and other costs outside of the classroom that support the students in the university. Things such as water, plumbing, staff to take care of the grounds and buildings, and administrative staff to run the university.
When you take any 4 credit course, the extra time in the course actually costs extra to run. It involves more electricity, more faculty time, etc. so, you pay for the credit.
The lab fees are charged because a lab course involves additional expenses. Chemicals, equipment, lab attendants, and additional electricity are examples of that. Many universities charge extra for a BS(Hons) degree. We felt like it was fairer to charge per course because not all BS (Hons) degrees incur extra expenses and not all courses, even in the Natural and Physical Sciences involve labs.
Why does the amount I owe change?
The amount shown on your account is what you owed at the most recent “bill run.” This is done at the end of the day every day during registration and entry times and every week or so during the other times. This means that, if there has been a change in your account during the time between runs (you have added a class for example), the amount you owe will change when the bill is run. It does not change instantly. If you know that you have a charge to your account, you can pay it even before it shows up on your statement.
If you are a full time student, you should plan to pay your fees according to the amount given on the website. You do not need to wait to see what your billing statement says.
You should check on your account weekly just to be sure everything is alright with it. Proctorial fines or tax are not always posted right after they happen.
Why are our fees increased? How do you decide how much the increase will be?
There are a number of things considered when fees are increased. The most obvious is the inflation rate (cost of living). Other considerations are salary increases for faculty and staff, increased operating expenses (for example, adding the extension on E Block increases the cost of electricity and water on a daily basis), and available scholarship budget for meeting student needs. In addition, we have to budget for the long term sustainability of the university. The goal is to not have to rely on outside sources for funding except in the case of building or other special projects.
We look at our strategic plan and decide what needs to be done to improve or maintain the quality of education being offered and at the tuition costs of market competitors (we try to stay below them), then we make a proposal to the Finance Committee and finally to the Board of Governors.
We try to balance the needs of the university with the desire to keep the cost of an education here reasonable.
How are our fees used?
Staff and faculty salaries, scholarships, operating expenses such as utilities, repairs, office supplies, furniture and equipment and events. It also covers student related expenses such as the Mercy Health Center, the College Counseling Center and other student life and student services departments.
What is the financial appeals committee? What can I appeal? How do I make an appeal?
A Committee has been constituted to handle different cases to facilitate students when there are exceptional circumstances. This includes payment concerns, withdrawal due to medical or other emergency issues, billing issues or any other concern a student has that is a request for an exception to policy.
If you want to file an appeal, an application template can be obtained and dropped at the Student Dealing Window in the Admin Block (across from accounts). A weekly meeting is held to review applications under expertise of various departments and results are then communicated to students through the same window.
Please note that filing an appeal does not guarantee the request will be granted. The committee looks at the circumstances and then makes a decision based on its ability to apply the same outcome fairly in all similar cases.
Is there another way to pay besides the HBL branch on campus? If I pay at another branch, how do I get credit for my fees?
You can pay for your fees at any HBL branch in Pakistan. If you pay off campus, you will need to either bring your paid challan to the accounts office or email a picture or scanned copy of it to firstname.lastname@example.org This is because HBL sends a list of payments made to us but there is nothing on the list telling us who made the payments. Your fee challan has your roll number on it. That allows us to make sure that your payment is credited to your account.
The accounts office is currently working with HBL to come up with some easier options such as ATM and online payment. We are hoping to have that active by the Fall 2018 semester.
How can I find out how much I owe without going to the accounts office window?
All of the information you need is on your EMPOWER account.
- After logging into your online account, look for the tab at the top that says Financials.
- Click on that tab and then, click on ’Billing Detail Summary’.
- The link will show your ‘Total Outstanding Obligation’.
- If you are willing to see details of your dues for ‘Current Period’ or ‘Previous Period‘ then click on the hyperlink.
How do I sign up for an installment plan?
You do not need to sign up for the installment plan anymore. The due dates are strictly followed, however, so you need to keep up with them. You can get information on the FCCU website. www.fccollege.edu.pk/tuition-fee/
What do I do if I have a hold on my account?
The first step is to find out why you have a hold. There are several types. If it is a Business hold, that can be checked at either of the student dealing windows. One is in the accounts office and the other is directly across the hall. If the hold is for a different reason, you will need to see that office to have it removed.
FINANCIAL AID ISSUES
What kinds of financial aid are available?
Financial aid refers to any financial assistance given to a student. This includes need based aid, merit scholarships upon admission, TA ships, Work study opportunities, and scholarships provided by outside agencies. We do not determine eligibility for the outside scholarships but we assist in the application process.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Students may apply for financial aid when applications are open. These dates are advertised around campus and on the website. The fee for an application is Rs. 500. Pay this amount in the FC campus bank branch and then bring the challan to the window in the Ahmed Saeed Building Room #15. You will have to have your FC email account activated. The link for your form will be sent to your FC email account only. Fill out the information online and submit it for the issuance of your confirmation code. You MUST ALSO submit a hard copy of your form with all of the supporting documentation.
Be sure to include all sources of income. If you are found to have left out a source, you will not receive aid and a prescribed fine amount may be imposed for misrepresentation of information.
How much financial aid is awarded?
In the year 2016-2017, 1,462 students have received aid of some sort. Rs. 138 million has been awarded.
How do I contact the Financial Aid office?
The financial aid office is located in rooms 15 -17 in the Ahmed Saeed Administration Building. The window in room 15 should be your first point of contact.
The email address is email@example.com