Before transfer can university ask for fees for I20 and attending orientation?


I got visa for University A for doing MBA in information systems for summer semester. I wanted to do it as I am computer engineer so MBA in information systems would have been a great plus to my profile. When I arrived at university A in summer, the university was not able to offer me full time courses as they were having no proper MBA in information systems courses at that time to offer me due to summer part 1 sem was going on and they gave me just one prerequisite course (4 weeks course) (as summer part 1 sem) which I had to take to maintain my student status. After such issues and mismanagement of university I decided not to study at that university A and decided to transfer at some other university. In the meantime I attended 2 lectures of that prerequisite course and got admission letter from university B (in computer science). When I asked the university to transfer my sevis, initially they told me no to do so and asked for $2500 fee for attending orientation and getting I20. They also asked me to pay fees for that prerequisite course which was additional $1200. So they asked me to pay $3700 in total first and then they would transfer me.

I checked online and found that no university can stop transfer of a student so I filled university A’s online transfer form and they transfered my sevis correctly and I am studying now at university B. I finished my one sem and second is going on.

Now the university A’s attorney department is calling me and asking me to pay $5200 as fee+unpaid charges. Now my questions are

  1. Is it legitimate for them to ask me for such high charges (for 2 lectures of prerequisite course which was offered due to mismanagement and lack of proper courses availability. Neither informed to me before I arrived.)?

  2. I am ready to pay for that prerequisite course($1200) which I had to attend as they did not offer me intended courses and neither informed me about. but do I need to pay them for orientation and i20 ($2500)?

  3. what if I don’t pay them? how it will harm me?

  4. If I had to pay then is there any middle way like I pay just for prerequisite course ($1200) and get rid of this issue.

Please guide me through this.

Thanks in advance.

  1. Well, I am not sure what documents you have signed, read for any clauses that state the same. Check, if there was any contractual obligations. Usually, once you enroll in course and do NOT drop it before deadline, you need to pay full fee, that’s pretty standard.

  2. Again, I am not sure, if you signed anything anywhere, these kind of clauses would be written somewhere in small font… Is this a state funded school ?

  3. Well, depending on the kind of clauses and what they can do, it can impact your credit history, if they report it to credit bureau…if there are any other obligations, you may get a court notice as well.

  4. You need to speak to the attorney and ask why you should pay and ask for the contractual obligation or anything that tells that you have signed up for this with admission, etc… You need some sort of proof from them. Ask for that.

I suggest you speak to the international advisor or DSO at your current school and seek their advice. Usually most of the decent schools have legal help division as well, where you can seek help to mitigate or get clarification. Speak to your current school’s admission and legal department to find more details and implications.