While being eligible to live in university dormitories is already a tough thing to do, paying dormitory fees that reach one million won even comes as a heavier burden for students.
This problem is being aggravated as many universities do not accept credit cards or installments for dormitory fees. While more and more universities are accepting credit cards or installments for tuition fees to relieve students’ burden, it does not apply to dormitory fees. Consequently, it leaves only one option of paying all dormitory fees once in cash in the beginning of a semester.
However, dormitory fees of most private universities located in Seoul exceed one million won, which is already a burden for students. It reaches nearly six million won when tuition fees and dormitory fees have to be paid at the same time.
Ewha Womans University, Yonsei University and Chung-ang universities are several examples of the private universities that do not accept credit cards or installments for dormitory fees.
Hanwoori Hall, Ewha Womans University’s dormitory, requires 860 thousand won in a semester for a double room and 120 thousand won for entrance fee. As a result, students who live in the dormitory for the first time should pay 9.4 million won when added up with Ewha’s average tuition fees.
Yonsei University’s dormitory fees range from about 630 thousand won to 1.4 million won according to students’ financial status. When added with Yonsei University’s average tuition fees, students living in a dormitory should pay about minimum 5.7 million won for a double room in a semester.
Also, Chung-ang University’s newly built dormitory fees reach nearly 1.9 million won per one semester which adds up to 5.8 million won with one semester’s average tuition fees.
Some students criticized universities’ denial of credit cards or installment plans for dormitory fees.
“As universities usually run their programs or classes every semester, I understand that dormitories also have to abide by the universities’ policies,” said Ha Hyun-ju (Kookmin University, 2). “However, as the amount of money students should afford is too large and credit cards or installment plans are not accepted by universities, they bring about inevitable burden to students.”
Furthermore, dormitory fees are mostly excluded in tax deduction part for the year-end tax adjustment, while tax for tuition fees can be refunded according to its specific law. Therefore, it becomes another reason for current payment system of dormitory fees is becoming a burden to students.
However, Ewha Womans University issues cash receipt for dormitory fees, which means that dormitory fees are included in tax deduction part for the year-end tax adjustment.
Universities state that accepting credit cards would inevitably contributes to raising dormitory fees as commission for credit card companies should be included in the fees.
“We are willing to take measures to allow installments after having internal meetings if students with financial difficulties make a request,” said an official of Hanwoori Hall who wishes to stay anonymous.