Canada welcomes thousands of Indian students each year. This isn’t surprising as the country is home to some of the world’s most reputable educational institutions, such as the renowned University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University.
International students from India work hard to secure admission to such Universities and Colleges before applying for their student visas. This makes it even more tragic when such students become the victims of scams when they set out to pay their tuition.
This guide will examine the various challenges Indian students face when attempting to pay their Canadian tuition internationally. We will also learn why it is best to avoid using agents to pay your tuition.
Why You Should Pay Fees Directly From Your Account?
Indian students who gain admission to Canadian Universities and Colleges are typically required to pay their fees before coming to Canada and starting their courses. This creates hurdles as such students cannot come to Canada to complete this transaction efficiently.
The good news is that Canadian Colleges and Universities accept tuition payments through various methods. For example, the University of Toronto accepts bank-to-bank payment and online payment options via non-Canadian credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa. Each of these payment options works internationally and is considered safe.
Unfortunately, many Indian students’ parents shy away from using such methods in favor of hiring special agents to complete the payment. Such practices usually lead to tuition payment delays or even missing payments. For this reason, Indian students should avoid using such agents and stick to direct transfer tuition payment methods.
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The issues mentioned above are far more prevalent than they should be. This is especially surprising as there are numerous straightforward ways for Indian students to complete their University or College tuition payments from India. Some tips for students to keep in mind when making their payments are listed below.
Contact Your University or College Before Paying
Indian students who have received a message from their University or College regarding their tuition amount for their upcoming semester should contact the educational institution directly. They may be able to do this over the phone, via email, or through a form on their website.
Students should then ask the University or College about the various fee payment options they accept. Most educational institutions offer payment routes for international students, so they will likely offer information on how students can complete this process safely.
For example, suppose you are offered the option of completing a direct bank-to-bank payment. In that case, the University or College will provide information on the account number to deposit the payment. They may also include information on how to specify your Student ID number during the payment to ensure they understand who the payment is from. This is especially important if the student completes their payment via their parent’s bank account.
Use Trusted Payment Gateways
Students who cannot access bank-to-bank transfer services should opt to use trusted payment gateways instead. Services such as Flywireand Western Union are recognized by Canadian Colleges and Universities and can be trusted to complete your payment safely and efficiently. These services have been around for many years and are unlikely to scam you in the same way that an agent might.
How to Pay your Canada Fees Through Flywire?
The steps for paying your fees through Flywire are summarized below:
Visit pay.flywire.com and select your Canadian College or University from the dropdown menu.
Enter “India” in the country name field and your desired payment amount.
View the total payment amount in Indian Rupees.
View the various payment methods that Flywire accepts and choose your desired method. This includes standard bank transfers and debit card and credit card payment routes. Flywire automatically converts your payment into Canadian Dollars during the transfer.
Enter your personal details.
Fill out the information in your University or College’s form on Flywire
Review the details you have entered and click “PAY”.
Track your payment through the link Flywire sends to your email. Your payment status will be updated.
Flywire receives your payment and has deposited it at your College or University.
Why You Should Avoid Sending Tuition Money Through Agents?
The issue of sending tuition money through agents has been widely documented due to the prevalence of their tuition scams. Such agents are popular due to the perceived complexities associated with making international tuition payments.
For example, some Indian parents may learn that their child’s university or college accepts tuition payments via bank-to-bank payments or credit card payments. Such parents may be unfamiliar with using such payment methods and be reluctant to use them for the first time. This may be due to fear of sending a large sum of money through a method they haven’t used before.
Such agents often reach out to such parents and inform them that they can complete the tuition payment via tried-and-tested methods using their accounts. These parents then transfer a large sum of money to the agent in hopes that they will complete the payment on their behalf. However, this process rarely goes as planned and often results in severe issues for Indian students just before their semester starts.
How Agents Lure Indian Students and their Parents?
The agents mentioned above are prevalent in certain provinces, such as Punjab. Such individuals often call themselves “immigration agents” or “immigration consultants” and claim to be affiliated with Canadian Universities and Colleges in an attempt to win over their client’s trust. They may also state that they can secure the student a discount on their tuition.
This bold claim alone is enough to convince many Indian students and their parents to use the agent’s tuition transfer services. Such claims should never be believed, as Canadian educational institutions do not have connections to such agents and would never offer discounts unless a scholarship was awarded directly to the student.
Many things could go wrong by using an agent to complete your University or College tuition payment. This includes:
Failing to Send the Payment to the Correct Account
Completing tuition payments using an agent is often discouraged because Universities and Colleges require tuition payments to come directly from the student’s bank account or from an account they have a connection to, such as an account belonging to one of their parents.
This amount must also be deposited to a specific University bank account number that uses the student’s unique Student ID when completing the payment. The agents who claim to complete such transactions may fail to deposit the payment in the correct account or omit the Student ID needed during the transaction.
This can lead to a failed payment, which may not be refundable in some instances. Indian students who fall prey to such situations lose a significant amount of money, which can be detrimental to their higher education prospects in Canada.
Problems also arise if the agent has successfully completed the University of College payment, but the student’s Canad study permit visa application has been rejected. Canadian educational institutions understand that such situations occur and readily refund students their tuition amount. However, this tuition amount will be sent back to the agent’s account if they made the initial payment.
The student must then contact the agent and ask them to return the payment. However, some scammers may use this opportunity to pocket the funds and cut off contact with their clients altogether.
At Elaar Immigration Consulting, we often remind our international student clients from India about the dangers of using agents to complete their tuition payments. We always instruct such clients to rely on trusted services such as Flywire or Western Union to pay university fees in Canada from India. If you have faced similar issues, you can contact us here, or book a consultationwith our licensed experts.