Credit card convenience charge

Athabasca University (AU) is converting to a convenience charge model through our online payment provider.

With this model, a convenience charge of two per cent (2%) of the overall total cost of registration or course fees is applicable for learners who choose to pay with a Visa or Mastercard credit card.

This will affect learners who want to pay for their course fees with Visa or Mastercard through the Office of Registrar’s Online System (OROS). American Express is no longer accepted under this model, as restricted through the third-party online payment service provider.

The key reason for converting to this model is to reduce the significant amount of service fees that AU was paying under the former model. These fees will go directly to the online payment service provider. These savings will enable the university to repurpose these dollars for serving learners in other priority areas at AU. It also brings AU in line with many other post-secondaries in Alberta and across Canada who already use the convenience charge model.

It is also important to note that this convenience fee is not collected by AU and goes directly to the online payment provider.

Frequently asked questions and answers

How can learners avoid the convenience charge?

Most learners can avoid the convenience charge by paying with an Interac or Visa/Mastercard debit card.

Will learners who pay through student loans be affected by the convenience charge?

Learners who pay with student loans will only be affected by the convenience charge if they choose to pay with a Visa or Mastercard credit card.

Will this convenience charge be tax refundable?

No, it will not be because this charge goes directly to the online payment service provider. AU does not collect it. It will show up on your receipt as a separate line item.

Where is this convenience charge going?

This charge goes directly to the online payment service provider.

Why is AU implementing this change now?

Given the current economic situation, and the need to reduce expenses, AU has been looking for efficiencies as we continue to work towards the goals that we set out for ourselves in the Imagine Plan. The key reason for converting to the convenience charge model is to reduce the significant amount of service fees that AU pays under the former model.

Learners who want to pay with a Visa or Mastercard credit card will now pay these fees directly to the online payment provider. These savings will enable the university to repurpose these dollars for serving learners in other priority areas at AU. It also brings AU in line with many other post-secondary institutions in Alberta and across Canada who already use the convenience change model.

Can learners still pay with American Express?

No, American Express is no longer accepted under this new convenience charge model, as restricted through the third-party online payment service provider.

Why are there two separate line items on a Visa or Mastercard receipt?

The first line item is the total amount charged by AU for tuition and/or fees. The second line item is the convenience charge, which is two per cent of the overall cost. This charge is separated because it is paid directly to the online payment service provider and not AU.

If learners withdraw from a course, will the convenience charge be fully refunded?

No, if learners choose to pay through a Visa or Mastercard credit card for their course fees through the online payment service provider, this charge will not be refunded because AU is not collecting the charge.

What is the fine print?

Please be aware that when you choose to pay by a Visa or Mastercard credit card, you are agreeing to pay a two per cent convenience charge of the overall cost to the online payment provider (third-party service). This charge will not appear on your student accounts and is NON-REFUNDABLE, even if you cancel courses and registration. This charge is billed directly by the online payment provider and is not remitted to AU.